Sunday, November 05, 2017

October revolutions take place in November

100 years of the October Russian Revolution

The Great October Socialist Revolution and commonly referred to as Red October, the October Uprising, the Bolshevik Revolution, took place one hundred years ago. Dated on the 25 October (7 November) allows for the eleven days (actually, they were thirteen, two still missing) difference between the Gregorian calendar and the one in use in Russia.

No one can say how the historians will end up labeling the current events in Catalonia. Some of the participants are fond of the “smiles revolution”, as they make positive efforts to stave away any form of violence thus far. And that to the despair of the Spanish Central government, who is more than willing to contemplate violence that could justify a strong repression move. The 10.000-plus police force stationed in different improvised quarters, including off-season tourists hotels and at least three ferry boats moored in Catalan ports, sit watchfully idle, for the time being.

Back in August, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that took place in Barcelona and the small beach resort town of Cambrils, the vice-president of the Spanish Central government, Ms. Soraya Saez, was all set on sending the army to Catalonia, on account of the terror attacks, but with the political drive for independence in mind. In France, the army is patrolling the streets since the major terror attacks suffered in the recent past. That was not to be in Catalonia, mainly due, so is said, to the lack of proper funding for such a displacement of troops and equipment. And also the reluctance of the military to get involved in the thorny political situation, grossly mismanaged by the Central government. The supposed saber rattling meant in a recent article of the Chief General of the Armed Forces was induced by the Government and is just a formal position.

On the Catalan side, there are constant calls to retain the peaceful overtone in all actions. Claims of “Ghandiism” are common, remembering the tactics of the Hindus back in the mid 20th against the British Empire. Whether that will hold is yet to be seen, as many Catalans are beginning to feel fed up with the situation.

The matter in question is moving from an independence movement to a complete overhaul of the Spanish State as it is. The resort of just the judiciary to counterattack the Catalan independence movement, shows the inner difficulty of consider political moves on the part of the Spanish state, including both the party in government, the “Partido Popular” (PP) and the main opposition party, the “Partido Socialista Obrero Español” (PSOE). The far right organizations and parties are just the spearhead of the entrenched central powers, rooted way back more than one hundred years, and located in Madrid.

The judicial management of the situation evidences the absolute lack of separation of powers in Madrid. The Spanish judicial system has been neglected by successive governments, limiting its resources and modernization. Still all set on paper, the only use of modern computers is as word processors. Courts personnel are not able to manage databases and most proceedings are not digital. The integrated systems known as Minerva NOJ and Lexnet are not entirely compatible and, particularly Lexnet breaks down very often and is not reliable, to the despair of judges and lawyers and, even more, any citizens using the justice system. All this has been just convenient for the PP, as almost one thousand of its members are involved in court cases related to corruption schemes. A nonfunctioning system favors corruption cases.

In this situation, the resort to a judicial answer to the Catalan political challenge, the central government has used very questionable members of the judiciary. The leading actor is the “Fiscal General”, sort of Attorney general, a person involved in corruption cases himself that was reproved by the Congreso de los Diputados, the Spanish Lower House, by a large majority. In any other country, this should have prompted his resignation. However, the PP government opted to keep him in his post, disregarding the Congress reproval. The Fiscal general gets all his inputs from the “Abogacia del Estado”, State attorneys, currently manning the most conspicuous posts in the PP administration, particularly the current vice-president of the government, Ms. Soraya Saez. The court acting in this situation is what is called “La Audiencia Nacional”, a legal body heir of the “Tribunal de Orden Publico”, the political court of regrettable Franco’s era memory. This is a special court meant for terrorist crimes and such. The judge in charge is a well known ultra-right lady judge, Hnbl. Carmen Lamela, with a rather peculiar record of outward harsh sentences for minor incidents of superficial political undertones.
The inability of the PP government to find other members of the judiciary, with cleaner records, is a clear sign of the executive intervention and meddling on the judicial system. That includes irregularities such as:
Acceleration and change in the judicial calendar. Denial of the right to a defense, violation of fundamental rights.Judicial action against politicians in electoral periods. “Audiencia Nacional” court judging without jurisdiction, according to the Supreme Court, plus the fact that Supreme Court doesn't have jurisdiction over Catalan Parliament Board members. The prosecutor has built a partisan criminal complaint. Basic process rights are not being respected, Violating the privacy of communications of the defendants.
The whole judicial process is becoming a “General cause” against the independence movement in Catalonia, but the intention is to cover the great irregularities that plagued the Spanish central government and system.
The Catalan popular movement, with all its ebbs and flows, the inconsistencies of some of the Catalan government decisions, the difficulties of the responses to the Spanish central government actions, the colonial occupation forces, the jailing of members of the government, or even the meagre repercussions in the European theater, still is a popular movement. It is the people, nor the leaders nor the organizations, who is carrying the flag. That is what gives the movement its character of revolutionary. And thus far it seems nothing is going to stop it.
The main question is not whether Catalonia will or will not become independent. It’s just how. The “when” will be determined by historians, once it happens.

In November, perhaps.

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