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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2017

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

Mick Barry, a member of the Socialist Party's Irish sister party and of the Irish parliament, has been in Catalonia as an international observer to the struggle and the repression.

Here we print extracts of the regular updates from his Facebook page 'Mick Barry TD'.

Catalonia, September 2017

Catalonia, September 2017   (Click to enlarge)

28/9/17 - student strike

This demonstration in Barcelona is absolutely massive. Young people from the age of 12, 13, 14. We've just had scores of Barcelona firefighters arriving to protect and steward the demo. They got a massive cheer from the crowd...

They're also saying no to cuts, no to evictions, yes to jobs - real jobs - and no to the rule of the rich, Rajoy, the bankers and the 1%.

This movement is in tune with the movements on the streets of Paris against attacks on workers rights, with the support across Britain for Corbyn, and with the movements in Ireland against water charges and privatisation.

1/10/17 - voting day

I was at a school in the north of Barcelona at 8am this morning, an hour before polls were due to open. Already there were up to 700 people from the local community gathered to protect the school from the violence of the police.

This afternoon we travelled out to villages and towns north of Barcelona. In one town already at 4pm 70% of those entitled to vote had cast their ballot.

As a parliamentary visitor from Ireland, when I've arrived in these schools, it's been "thankyou" it's been "democracy," it's been shaking hands and rounds of applause. The dignity and determination of the people to vote really has to be seen to be believed.

We've just heard that the leader of the British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the silence of his own government - he might as well criticise the silence of all European governments. But it's not to them we look to for a solution, but to the people.

3/10/17 - general strike

I am with a group of 200 young people. They are touring the city. They are standing outside coffee shops and chanting until they close their doors. They are erecting barricades on the motorways. Other groups in other parts of the city are doing the same thing too.

There is a real determination to close down this city. It is quite quiet, most workplaces seem to be shut and the streets are far from full...

Smaller demonstrations are happening all around and where the main demo is set to take place in two and a half hours, already 100,000+ have assembled.

There are streams of workers flooding into the streets around Barcelona's city centre.

As this movement develops, and in facing down incredible Francoist repression at the hands of the Spanish state, the working class of Catalonia are discovering their strength.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 4 October 2017:


Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events


What we think

The Tories must be driven out


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail workers set for national strike action

Unison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

RMT strikes against removal of train guards spreads

University of Leeds workers walk out

ThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger


Che Guevara

Revolutionary socialist Che Guevara 50 years on


Labour Party conference

Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed


Socialist Party news and analysis

Capitalism and human progress

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

Bending the knee v Trump


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tories wreck our NHS

11,000 raised in three weeks for fighting fund

Why I joined: I wanted to change things

Chatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention

Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

Leeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

Protest outside Ukip conference against German far-right speaker


 

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Related links:

Catalonia:

triangleCatalonia: Draconian prison sentences of independence leaders provokes mass protests and strikes

triangleCatalonia: Mass protests against punitive political jailings

triangleCatalonia independence movement two years on

triangleSpanish elections - new upheavals underline need for a revolutionary socialist alternative

triangleSpanish state: social polarisation and budget defeat force snap election

Socialist:

triangleMick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

triangleSocialism the Podcast: 2020 episodes

triangleSocialism the Podcast: 2018 episodes

triangleHackney, Waltham Forest & East London Socialist Party branches: Johnson's 'back to school' plan is not safe

Young people:

triangleYoung people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

triangleStand firm for socialist policies to stop Tory attacks

triangleFight for your future - join the socialists

Jobs:

triangleBail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

triangleEssential workers deserve more

Ireland:

triangleFurther protests in Ireland against Debenhams closures - UK fightback needed

Demo:

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built

European:

triangleA new world order - global reconstruction after World War Two

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triangleMore International articles...


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