For the self-determination of our bodies and our peoples, for the freedom of Catalonia and for an authentic constituent process breaking off from the 1978 regime (*)
Feministes Indignades is a network of women, lesbians and trans born out of the Acampada, i.e. occupation, of Plaça Catalunya during the citizen uprising of May 15th 2011, 15M, to reject the coup d'etat by financial markets, the International Monetary Fund and the Troica, that impoverish and kill people by implementing reforms and austerity policies and slashing rights. As for the Spanish state, in August 2011, PP-PSOE (the main right and left wing political parties in Spain) violated people sovereignty with a reform of the article 135 of the Constitution (supposedly not reformable) to fix a limit to the public deficit.
We, Feministes Indignades, practice and support feminist civil disobedience against laws and unfair and illegitimate policies: in May 2011, we disobeyed the eviction order of Plaça Catalunya, given by the regional government Ministry of Interior, a Convergencia i Unió (CIU) government (Catalan nationalist right-wing party), and the interdiction by the Central Electoral Committee, to occupy squares and streets during the electoral day of reflection before the municipal elections. In June 2011, we disobeyed the markets and politicians' order, by surrounding the Parliament of Catalonia to oppose the first pack of austerity measures led by CIU. Since 2012 and until now, we have supported the campaign for abortion rights, that calls for feminist disobedience against the abortion law counter-reform initiated by Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardón (former Minister of Justice in the Spanish government), which eventually was not approved, and against rights being taken away from minors under 18, who would have had to inform their parents or legal guardians, to exercise their right to abortion.
We, Feministes Indignades, are a diverse network, sharing different political tendencies and visions: some of us feel independentists, other federalists, some of us do not believe in state of any kind, be it Spanish or Catalan. Some of us question the sovereign process, some of us have actively participated and contributed to it. Many others do not think this is what matters most and are declaring to be feminists in resistance.
Some of us are outraged because we are migrants and the law Ley de Transitoriedad (e.g. establishing nationality rules in the independency context), prevents us to vote in the referendum, snatches away from us our agency to be political subjects, infringes our right to participate and worryingly reminds us of the racist Ley Española de Extranjería (law re. foreign nationals).
We defend the effective exercise of civil, political and social rights and freedoms, and are in resistance against capitalism, racism, heterosexism, patriarchy, fundamentalisms and fascism. We support people in resistance and believe in the self-determination of our bodies and peoples.
We want to bring down the patriarchal, capitalist and racist pact of the 1978 regime.
From our resistance, we want to participate in constituent processes enabling feminist democracies in which we can all participate (natives and migrants).
That the measures with which the Spanish state has chosen to respond to the call for a Catalan referendum on 1st October, 2017, has violated fundamental rights such as: the right to a fair trial under a competent, independent and impartial tribunal, the right to intimacy, the right to the inviolability of the home, communication privacy, the right to freedom of expression and information, and the right to freedom of assembly and demonstration.
Among some of the most serious events that have taken place in the last few days are:
- the prosecution of more than 700 mayors for having enabled the organisation of the referendum of 1st October in municipal facilities, imposing fines counting in millions to all the members of the Court of Auditors in the Catalan Government and threats to school principals that would have offered these facilities for the referendum.
- shutting down the web page of the Generalitat (Catalan government) and violation of citizens' rights to express their opinions through the internet, freely and openly, which cannot be censured or limited.
- search of printing houses where material for the referendum was printed out and requisition of 1,5 millions leaflets and posters, among which figure official publications from the Generalitat.
- search of media offices and identification of journalists.
- ban on conferences and debate meetings on the right to decide in various places in the state - (Madrid, Vitoria/Gasteiz, Zaragoza...).
- effective suspension of the autonomy of Catalonia and deployment of a state of exception without declaring it. Detention of advisors, workers from the public service accused of sedition, economic intervention (Catalan Tax Agency, Department of Economy and Tax Office, Institute of Catalan Letters), intervention of Mossos de Esquadra (Catalan police) and imposition of a unique command under the Spanish Interior Minister, search of Catalan administration facilities and IT equipment. The Spanish state is applying de facto the article 155 of the Constitution.
- illegal attack by the police at the Headquarters of the political party Candidatura d'Unitat Popular and encirclement of the facilities for seven hours by the Policia Nacional. Permissiveness with generalised abuse by the police such as the Guardia Civil, Policia Nacional, Mossos de Esquadra and local police. Deployment of a state of exception de facto, with the arrival of 6,000 national police officers, civil guards, and with semi-military type of equipment (water cannons) to spread fear and terror among the Catalan population. All of this paid for with our tax money.
- Sedition charges for anyone participating in the demonstrations against our rights and freedoms being threatened.
- In addition, we would like to warn that over the last few days, fascist groups have been able to demonstrate without any issues, not even the presence of the police in the streets of Barcelona, and they have committed at least one assault, as well as threatening and insulting various individuals.
For all of this,
We call for mobilisation, active and non violent resistance and feminist disobedience to defend civil, political and social rights, and the right to self-determination of Catalan people, for all individuals living in Catalonia (regardless of where they are and are coming from) to be able to freely decide their future.
We celebrate the massive response and determination of the Catalan society, to refuse the state of exception that limit our basic rights and freedoms. Since 20th September, we have been mobilising without fear and we are encouraging everyone to carry on doing it. The streets will always be ours!
On 1st October we must be able to vote, and this is only the beginning. We call for a transparent, horizontal, constituent process, radically democratic and popular, where we can all build a republic free from patriarchy, racism, capitalism, fundamentalism and fascism. The feminist practice and knowledge have built resistance and proposals to enable new feminist democracies where we can all participate, whether natives or migrants.
We support the call for a general strike from some unions, organisations and social movements on 3rd October, and we call for a social strike, of care and consumption; a strike where we can all participate.
We call for international feminist solidarity. In Catalonia, it is not only the future of the referendum that is at stake, but the possibility of independence or a republic. What is also at stake is the rights and freedoms of people living under the 1978 regime, that is showing its most authoritarian and anti-democratic face in Catalonia.
We encourage you to disseminate and extend solidarity and sisterhood to confront the fascist and fundamentalist derive of the Spanish state. We need your support to change this political, legal and police assault against us and Catalonia, and attempt to re-shape the conservative 1978 regime, in a feminist opportunity to take it apart from the bottom up, here and everywhere.
Feministes Indignades, anticapitalists, antiracists and antifascists.
Barcelona, 28th September, 2017
(*) The 1978 regime was born after the death of Franco, based on a constitution agreed between francoists and the political forces of the transition, which imposed a constitutional monarchy. The monarch was directly nominated by the dictator, Francisco Franco.