The 2017 Catalan independence referendum in Spain

Unions demand jailed Catalan leader support Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government

By Alejandro López, 10 December 2019

Spain’s two largest trade unions are directly complicit with the attempt by Podemos and the Socialist Party to install a pro-austerity, police-state regime.

Madrid steps up repression in Catalonia after PSOE-Podemos government accord

By Alejandro López, 25 November 2019

The Podemos-backed social-democratic government threatens to impeach the Catalan regional premier and reduce the use of the Catalan language in Catalonia’s public schools.

Mass rally against jailing of Catalan nationalists in Barcelona

By Alejandro López, 28 October 2019

Two weeks before the November 10 general elections in Spain, hundreds of thousands marched in Barcelona Saturday afternoon.

Madrid steps up repression of protests against Catalan crackdown

By Alejandro López, 22 October 2019

The ruling class is terrified that protests will erupt across Spain and beyond, linking the defence of democratic rights to the growing upsurge of working class struggles.

Draconian verdict against Catalan politicians exposes bankruptcy of Podemos

By Alejandro López, 21 October 2019

This crisis is giving workers and youth internationally yet another bitter lesson in the reactionary role of affluent middle class, “post-Marxist” populist parties.

General strike paralyzes Catalonia as over half-a-million demonstrate in Barcelona

By Alejandro López, 19 October 2019

Broad sections of youth and workers mobilized to protest the police state that is emerging in Spain, and more broadly across Europe.

The jailing of Catalan nationalists: Spanish government builds a police state

By Alex Lantier, 17 October 2019

The Spanish Supreme Court’s sentencing Monday of a dozen Catalan nationalists to a decade in prison for sedition is a politically illegitimate ruling that will live in infamy.

Spanish police attack mass protests against prison terms for Catalan nationalists

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 15 October 2019

The ruling against defendants involved in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum is the outcome of a show trial and part of the Spanish ruling class’s drive toward dictatorship.

Ahead of ruling in Catalan show trials

Catalan nationalists, Spanish unions and pseudo-left demobilize opposition

By Alejandro López, 12 October 2019

The Catalan bourgeois nationalists are terrified of growing opposition in the working class to the austerity and police-state policies of the Spanish ruling class. Jordi Sànchez,

Madrid launches “anti-terror” crackdown in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 26 September 2019

Spain’s Civil Guards have launched a widely publicized “anti-terror” police operation against Catalan nationalist activists, code-named “Operation Judes.”

Podemos backs Madrid’s plans for repression against Catalonia

By Alejandro Lopez, 24 September 2019

Last Friday, Podemos General Secretary Pablo Iglesias announced his party would back repressive measures against Catalonia if it were part of a Socialist Party-led government

Podemos, Catalan nationalists cover up role of intelligence in Barcelona attack

By Alejandro López, 22 July 2019

The reactionary forces promoted in the bourgeois media as the “left” in Spain are downplaying or ignoring Spanish intelligence’s complicity in the 2017 attacks.

UN calls on Spain to free jailed Catalan nationalist politicians

By Alejandro López, 12 July 2019

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for the “immediate release” of Catalan nationalist political prisoners held in a show trial in Madrid.

Spain seeks rebellion charges against Catalans for complaining of police violence

By Alejandro López, 13 April 2019

In the Orwellian atmosphere being stoked up by the ruling class in the run up to the April 28 general election, it is the victims of police brutality that are denounced as aggressors.

Spain holds political show trial of Catalan nationalist defendants

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 4 March 2019

The Catalan nationalists’ prosecution on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for organising the 2017 independence referendum has no substance.

Two hundred thousand protest in Barcelona against show trial of Catalan separatists

By Alejandro López, 18 February 2019

There is broad opposition, centered above all in the working class, to EU-backed attempts to establish a police state in Spain based on anti-Catalan propaganda.

Spanish government falls amid Catalan crisis

By Alejandro López, 16 February 2019

The major parties are set to run the most right-wing election campaign in Spain since the 1978 Transition to parliamentary rule, under cover of opposing Catalan separatism.

The show trial of the Catalan nationalists and the far-right danger in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 14 February 2019

In line with official politics across Europe, the ruling class in Spain is moving to build a police state and defending the legacy of 20th century fascism.

Thousands attend right-wing, anti-Catalan protest in Madrid

By Alejandro López, 11 February 2019

Spain’s right-wing parties are targeting its minority social-democratic government, backed by Podemos, that is unpopular for imposing austerity and police state rule.

Spain: Socialist Party government arrests Catalan activists

By Alejandro López, 22 January 2019

Akin to an anti-terror operation, plainclothes police wearing balaclavas swooped in on the individuals and whisked them away in unmarked cars.

Spain: Socialist Party government mounts a provocation in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 21 December 2018

Sánchez is utilising the Cabinet provocation and display of force to show the ruling class that he is prepared to move against the Catalan separatists.

Unions call off general strike in Catalonia

By Carlos Hernández and Paul Mitchell, 14 December 2018

Union leaders made clear they called off the strike because of the political and social crisis that threatens the rule of the minority Socialist Party government.

Catalonia rocked by a week of strikes against austerity

By Alejandro López, 1 December 2018

For years the regional bourgeoisie has relentlessly promoted Catalan nationalism to bury the socio-economic concerns of workers and youth, both Spanish and Catalan.

Catalan separatists indicted for rebellion, facing jail for up to 25 years

By Alejandro López, 5 November 2018

The trials, organised under the Socialist Party-led government, are expected to begin in early 2019.

Calls grow in Madrid to ban Catalan nationalist parties

By Alejandro López, 11 October 2018

Banning parties that collectively receive millions of votes would mark a major escalation in the drive of the Spanish and European bourgeoisie to establish a police state.

Dozens injured as Catalan separatists and regional police clash in Barcelona

By Alejandro López, 1 October 2018

A year after the Catalan independence referendum, none of the issues that led to the referendum crisis and the violent repression by Madrid have been resolved.

Spanish police harass, spy on Catalan separatist party

By Alejandro López, 27 September 2018

Police surveillance of the Candidatures of Popular Unity, revealed in a press conference last Thursday, is a blatant and illegal violation of basic democratic rights.

German court authorises extradition of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to Spain on embezzlement charges

By Alejandro López, 16 July 2018

In Spain, the newly installed minority Socialist Party (PSOE) government announced it would abide by the ruling, although it is a rebuke to the party's line in the Catalan crisis.

Podemos meets with Catalan nationalists on behalf of Madrid

By Alejandro López, 27 June 2018

The new, Podemos-backed government Madrid is seeking to put a more “democratic” face on last year’s brutal police crackdown in Catalonia.

Barcelona: Hundreds of thousands protest against jailing of Catalan independence leaders

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2018

The protest attracted considerable numbers of workers and youth who did not support secession but opposed the government’s repressive actions.

Catalan nationalist Ponsatí appears in Scottish court to oppose extradition

By Steve James, 12 April 2018

The Rajoy administration’s resort to dictatorial measures is ultimately aimed at silencing all political dissent and intimidating the Spanish working class.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont released from German prison

By Ulrich Rippert, 7 April 2018

Puigdemont may not leave Germany until further notice, had to post bail of €75,000 and must report weekly to the police.

German state prosecutor calls for extradition of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont

By Ulrich Rippert, 4 April 2018

With this decision, the state prosecutor in Schleswig-Holstein is giving its backing to the Spanish government and adopting Madrid’s arguments.

Spanish parties unite to demand repression against Catalan nationalists

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 4 April 2018

The Catalan crisis is being used to criminalise all political and social opposition under conditions of intensification of the class struggle.

Spanish police attack protests demanding release of Catalonian leaders

By Paul Mitchell and Alejandro López, 30 March 2018

Demonstrations broke out throughout Catalonia after Spain’s supreme court ordered the arrest of former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont.

Spanish judiciary accuses former Catalan President Puigdemont of “mobilising the masses”

By Peter Schwarz, 30 March 2018

If the German government extradites Puigdemont to Spain, it will set a precedent for the suppression of all forms of protest and opposition.

The arrest of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont: Another step toward a police state in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 27 March 2018

The Europe-wide police-state structures, which emerged under the pretext of combatting terrorism and cracking down on refugees, are now being deployed against political opponents.

Germany and UK collude with Spanish extradition warrants against Catalan leaders Puigdemont and Ponsatí

By Steve James and Paul Mitchell, 27 March 2018

Puigdemont is expected to be detained in Germany for two to three months before a final decision is made on his extradition to Spain.

Deposed Catalan regional premier Carles Puigdemont arrested in Germany

By Alejandro López, 26 March 2018

The decision to arrest Puigdemont in Germany, whose own criminal code punishes attempts to secede with sentences of up to life in prison, facilitates his transfer to Spain.

Spain jails Catalan secessionist leaders, issues international arrest warrants

By Alejandro López, 26 March 2018

The Spanish ruling class is intent on “beheading” the secessionist movement.

Spain’s Constitutional Court attempts to block Catalan premier’s investiture

By Alejandro López, 29 January 2018

The decision by the Constitutional Court means that if ousted regional premier Carles Puigdemont does not attend the swearing-in session in person, his election will be annulled.

Catalan nationalists struggle to form government

By Paul Mitchell, 25 January 2018

Spain’s Popular Party government is threatening to re-impose Article 155 and direct rule of the autonomous region by Madrid.

Direct Spanish rule to continue if exiled Catalan leader tries to govern from Belgium

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 17 January 2018

The Spanish government is preparing to extend Article 155 of the Constitution, invoked to take control of Catalonia.

Spanish PM Rajoy seeks to prevent Catalan nationalists from forming government

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 10 January 2018

The Supreme Court is planning to issue writs against a further 11 people linked to the deposed Catalan government for their part in organising last October’s independence referendum.

Political turmoil in Spain following Catalan election

By Paul Mitchell, 23 December 2017

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy is under pressure from some quarters to consider negotiations, but there is no indication of a climbdown on his part.

Catalan nationalists win narrow majority in crisis elections

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 22 December 2017

The result puts paid to hopes in Madrid that elections would rapidly resolve the conflict between the Spanish and Catalan regional governments.

Crisis election in Catalonia

No to dictatorship and national separatism! For the Unity of Catalan and Spanish workers!

By Alex Lantier, 21 December 2017

With today’s election, Madrid aims to provide a “democratic” veneer to the drive for police-state regimes and the rehabilitation of far-right forces across Europe.

Catalan election campaign begins amid Popular Party government repression

By Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden, 6 December 2017

The common concerns of workers and youth, Spanish and Catalan, have been buried under an avalanche of divisive nationalist rhetoric.

Spain accuses Russia of interference in the Catalan crisis

By Alejandro López, 29 November 2017

In the space of just two months, El Pais has published 47 articles linking Russia to the Catalan crisis, five of which are editorials.

Canada backs Spain’s crackdown on Catalan independence referendum

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 18 November 2017

The Trudeau government’s support for Spain’s suppression of the Catalan independence referendum makes clear it would be ready to use similar methods to uphold the integrity of the Canadian state.

Scottish National Party backs European Union over Catalonia

By Steve James, 14 November 2017

The SNP has avoided any criticism of EU support for the brutal crackdown by the Spanish government against the Catalan national movement.

Tens of thousands protest in Catalonia against moves towards authoritarian rule in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 9 November 2017

Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday in Catalonia against the detention of Catalan nationalist politicians as political prisoners by Madrid.

Deposed Catalan premier hands himself in to Belgian police

By Alex Lantier, 6 November 2017

Criticisms of Spain’s handling of the Catalan crisis from within European ruling circles reflect concerns that Madrid’s actions could provoke explosive popular opposition.

Spanish army threatens to intervene in Catalonia as ministers are jailed

By Paul Mitchell and Alex Lantier, 3 November 2017

According to the chief of the Spanish army, his plans to intervene in Catalonia are part of similar planning by the NATO countries across Europe.

Catalan, Spanish workers face grave dangers from Madrid’s repression

By Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden, 2 November 2017

The attempt by Madrid and the EU to impose a dictatorial regime, whether or not this is sanctioned by imposed elections, must be opposed by the entire Spanish and Catalan working class.

Catalan premier appeals to EU as opposition mounts to Madrid’s crackdown

By Alex Lantier, 1 November 2017

Puigdemont asked the EU to broker a deal between the Spanish government and the Catalan authorities based on the December 21 election imposed on Catalonia by Madrid.

EU backs Madrid’s imposition of authoritarian regime in Catalonia

By Francis Dubois, 31 October 2017

Fearing the eruption of mass struggles against austerity, the European financial oligarchy is backing the imposition of an authoritarian regime in Catalonia.

Catalan Premier Puigdemont flees to Belgium as Spain asserts direct rule over Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 30 October 2017

The Catalan nationalist parties are bitterly hostile to a political intervention in the crisis by the working class.

Spain imposes military rule in Catalonia to preempt independence bid

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 28 October 2017

The Senate vote marks a historic collapse of democratic forms of rule in Western Europe and a return to authoritarianism, posing an urgent threat to the working class.

As protests mount against Madrid, Catalan parliament declares independence

By Alejandro López, 28 October 2017

The Catalan regional parliament on Friday voted a resolution for independence from Spain and the start of a “constituent process” to draft a new constitution.

Madrid's talks with Catalan premier collapse as Spain threatens military rule

By Alejandro López, 27 October 2017

Carles Puigdemont withdrew an offer to hold snap elections in Catalonia after Madrid reportedly refused to free Catalan political prisoners.

Catalonia announces plan for independence as Madrid threatens military rule

By Alejandro López, 26 October 2017

Madrid’s turn toward military dictatorship in Catalonia and across Spain is intended to strangle popular opposition to the European Union and the banks.

Catalan government in turmoil over Spain’s suppression of autonomy

By Paul Mitchell, 24 October 2017

The anti-democratic measures imposed under Article 155 are leading to a violent conflict with the Catalan population.

Move to Spanish military rule in Catalonia exposes bankruptcy of Podemos

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 24 October 2017

Despite winning 5 million votes, Podemos neither wanted nor sought to mobilize opposition to the turn to authoritarian rule by Madrid, backed by the European Union.

Spain annuls Catalan self-government, prepares military rule from Madrid

By Alex Lantier, 23 October 2017

Madrid’s claim, supported explicitly by the EU, that military rule is the only possible response to the Catalan independence referendum is an absurd lie, drenched in imperialist hypocrisy.

EU summit endorses Spain’s threat of police-military occupation of Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 21 October 2017

EU heads of state applauded Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy’s moves to impose dictatorial rule in Catalonia because they are preparing similar attacks on the working class across Europe.

Spanish Socialist Party demands new elections in Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 21 October 2017

The Spanish Socialist Party is working closely with Spain’s right-wing government to extra-legally oust the current regional government in Catalonia.

Spanish government vows to impose military-backed regime in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 20 October 2017

Spanish ministers will meet tomorrow to prepare to invoke Article 155 and suspend Catalan regional self-rule after the region's October 1 independence referendum.

200,000 protest jailing of Catalonian nationalist leaders in Barcelona

By Paul Mitchell, 19 October 2017

The jailing of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart marks the first incarceration of Spanish political prisoners since the end of the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

Jailing of separatist leaders sparks protest demonstrations in Catalonia

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 18 October 2017

The High Court ruling is an indication of the dictatorial measures the Spanish Popular Party regime is prepared to carry out.

Madrid rejects Puigdemont’s call for talks in Catalan referendum crisis

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 17 October 2017

With Spanish military forces and thousands of police preparing for action, Spain is teetering on the brink of martial law and a bloody crackdown in Catalonia.

Deadline looms for Catalonia to confirm or deny independence declaration

By Alejandro López, 16 October 2017

The secessionists led by Catalonia’s regional premier Carles Puigdemont have spent the past week seeking to strike a deal with Madrid, but no deal is on offer.

Threatening crackdown in Catalonia, Madrid whips up nationalism at military parade

By Alejandro López, 13 October 2017

Signaling its tacit support for bloody repression in Catalonia, the pseudo-left Podemos party for the first time sent representatives to the military parade for National Day.

Spain moves toward military rule in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2017

As the Spanish army prepared to deploy armored units to Catalonia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to suspend the Catalan regional government.

Podemos’ call for dialogue on Catalonia: A political trap with deadly consequences

By Paul Mitchell, 12 October 2017

With calls for ‘patriotism’ and national unity, the pseudo-left Podemos is seeking recognition as a potential saviour of Spanish capitalism at a time of acute crisis.

Catalan premier affirms right to independence from Spain, but delays formal declaration

By Alex Lantier, 11 October 2017

Regional premier Carles Puigdemont delivered his speech amid an unfolding Spanish military and police intervention into Catalonia and the looming threat of a bloody crackdown.

Spain's Popular Party threatens repression if Catalan authorities declare independence

By Alejandro López, 10 October 2017

Popular Party leaders warned Monday that national police and civil guards are ready to halt any unilateral declaration in the Catalan parliament.

As Spanish crackdown looms, France’s New Anti-capitalist Party promotes Catalan nationalism

By Alex Lantier, 10 October 2017

Rather than advance a principled policy to unite the Spanish and Catalan working class against Spanish state repression, the Pabloite New Anti-capitalist Party is lining up behind the Catalan bourgeoisie.

As crackdown looms in Catalonia, Spain’s Popular Party calls protest in Barcelona

By Alejandro López, 9 October 2017

The Catalan separatists are despised in broad sections of the working class for their austerity policies, which have seen major cuts in social expenditure.

Madrid prepares to deploy troops in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 7 October 2017

Spain’s political establishment is openly talking of invoking Article 116 of the Spanish constitution, laying the basis for the imposition of martial law.

German government backs Spain’s violent crackdown on Catalonia

By Peter Schwarz, 7 October 2017

The German government has backed Madrid’s suppression of the Catalonian independence referendum because it, too, is preparing to crack down on social and political opposition at home.

Spain prepares military crackdown in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 6 October 2017

The European Union is supporting Madrid's plans for a bloody military-police intervention in Catalonia and to impose a state of emergency across Spain.

Amid Catalan crisis, Madrid prepares military rule across Spain

By Alejandro López, 6 October 2017

Voices in the Spanish press are calling for imposing various states of emergency that would suspend basic democratic rights and hand power to the army.

Spanish government sends troops to Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 5 October 2017

The Ministry of Defense has dispatched army units to support the Civil Guard and national police in a possible further crackdown on the Catalonian population.

After Madrid’s violent crackdown:

An independent class strategy for the Spanish and Catalan working class!

By Keith Jones, 5 October 2017

A struggle to rally workers and youth to an internationalist orientation can only be waged in uncompromising opposition to the violence unleashed by the Madrid government.

Defenders of imperialist “human rights” hail Spanish government’s crackdown in Catalonia

By Chris Marsden, 4 October 2017

The United States and the EU leapt to the defence of the Spanish government as it sent police to savagely beat and arrest anyone who dared to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

Spanish king demands new crackdown in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 4 October 2017

An open intervention by the Spanish king into public affairs is without precedent since the 1981 coup attempt in Spain.

Hundreds of thousands protest Madrid’s repression in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 4 October 2017

Demonstrations took place in cities across Catalonia amid a “national work stoppage” backed by Catalan business groups, separatist parties, and trade unions.

EU hands Spain blank check for stepped-up police repression in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 3 October 2017

After the mass repression in Catalonia Sunday, the European Commission issued a statement formally endorsing Madrid's handling of the Catalan independence crisis.

Millions defy brutal crackdown by Spanish police to vote in Catalan referendum

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 2 October 2017

The Popular Party government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sent some 16,000 police to Catalonia to shut down polling stations, seize ballot boxes and attack voters.

Oppose the state crackdown on the Catalan independence referendum!

For working class unity! No to separatism in Spain!

Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International, 30 September 2017

On the eve of the October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia, Spain is in the throes of its deepest political crisis since the fall of the fascist Franco regime.

Catalan secession crisis: Alongside Rajoy, Trump calls for a united Spain

By Paul Mitchell, 29 September 2017

The American ruling elite, like its European counterparts, are concerned the tensions between Madrid and Barcelona are provoking an explosive situation.

Spain’s crackdown on the Catalan secessionist referendum: Podemos looks for its “Syriza moment”

By Alejandro López, 29 September 2017

Podemos is presenting itself as the only alternative able to resolve the Catalan secessionist crisis without sparking social opposition.

Spanish government dispatches police reinforcements to Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 23 September 2017

Demonstrations continued in Catalonia yesterday as Madrid reinforced its police presence in the Eastern region.

Barcelona dockworkers boycott Spanish police ships sent against Catalan referendum

By Alejandro López, 22 September 2017

Dockworkers in Catalonia’s two main ports, Barcelona and Tarragona, are refusing supply services to vessels carrying riot police and paramilitary Civil Guard units.

Spanish police raid Catalan government buildings, arrest officials

By Paul Mitchell, 21 September 2017

Powerful sections of the Spanish ruling class are demanding that the Popular Party government crack down harder to block the October 1 Catalan independence referendum.

Spain threatens potential military takeover of Catalonia as referendum looms

By Alejandro López, 18 September 2017

Madrid’s inflammatory language and actions recall the thuggery of the Francoist dictatorship that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1978.

Spain suspends Catalan independence law, escalating conflict with separatists

By Alejandro Lopez, 15 September 2017

With the crisis over the Catalan independence referendum, the Spanish state system as it emerged from the post-1978 transition from fascist rule is collapsing.

Hundreds of thousands march in Catalonia as Madrid aims to block independence referendum

By Paul Mitchell, 12 September 2017

The march came amid an explosive political crisis in Spain, as Madrid mobilizes police and the courts to try to block the independence referendum.

Pseudo-left Popular Unity Candidacy campaigns for Catalan separatism

By Alejandro López, 17 August 2017

Last week, the Catalan pseudo-left separatist Popular Unity Candidacy launched its campaign for the referendum on Catalan independence from Spain planned for October 1.