Héctor Sierra

Catalonia, class and independence

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The Spanish state’s violent response to the Catalan independence referendum last month was shocking, writes Héctor Sierra, but now is the time for the left to take a lead.

The events in Catalonia have exposed the limitations of liberal democracies once again. Friedrich Engels wrote that the capitalist state is composed of “special bodies of armed men”. Few times in recent history has this been so clear as on Sunday 1 October, when the Spanish ruling party, the conservative People’s Party (PP) led by Mariano Rajoy, responded to the Catalan referendum on independence by deploying 10,000 police and paramilitary agents to physically stop voters from casting their ballots.

New mood grips Basque struggle

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A mass movement is back on the streets in support of Basque political prisoners’ rights. But arguments for independence have been abandoned by the radical left, writes Héctor Sierra.

On 14 January 78,000 people took to the streets of Bilbao in the Basque Country to demand “human rights, peace, and a solution to the conflict”. The Basque Country stretches from the north of the Spanish state to the south of France and has a population of barely 3 million. Previous similar demonstrations peaked in 2014 with 130,000 people.

Spanish coup tramples hopes

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Héctor Sierra explains a tumultuous year in the Spanish state as the maneuverings of the right in the Socialist Party forced out leader Pedro Sánchez for wanting to work with left wing Podemos.

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

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