The 72-hour strike called by the Sindicat d'Estudiants against repression and the infamous Supreme Court ruling, and in favor of the Catalan Republic of workers and youth, is being immense. The support of it exceeds 90% in the institutes and universities, which have been empty since yesterday, but the most important thing is the real flood of hundreds of thousands of young people who have crowded the streets of Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida and Girona and many more localities, in the most massive student demonstrations that are remembered in decades.
Neither the attempts to criminalize the government and the state, nor the repression will stop us in our just struggle for the right to decide, for the republic and the freedom of political prisoners.
In an electric and enthusiastic atmosphere, more than 200,000 young people have occupied the whole centre of Barcelona! from Plaça Universitat, Via Laietana, Plaça Catalunya... Two enormous banners signed by the Sindicat d'Estudiants and Esquerra Revolucionària have opened in Plaça Universitat the march with the following slogans: "Per la república catalana del poble, els treballadors i el joven. Aturem la repressió franquista. Vaga general!”.
The power of the protests has been extraordinary, as reflected in the photos and videos that have already circulated on social networks. At no time have we stopped chanting and singing slogans: "Llibertat presos polítics", "Els carrers seran sempre nostres", "Som república", "La nostra sentència, independència!", "Li diuen democràcia i no ho és!", "Catalunya Antifeixista", "Fora les forces d'ocupació", "Vaga general", "Aqueste judici és una farsa", and many more. The rallies that the comrades have launched throughout the mobilisation have been applauded to rage, as has the speech by Coral Latorre, secretary general of the Sindicat d'Estudiants, in a mobilisation that has exceeded all expectations.
Criminalization campaign. They won't shut us up or bend us.
Both the general student strike of 72 hours and the impressive mobilization of today, unprecedented in the last forty years, responds to all the lies and manipulations that from the government of the PSOE, Cs and the PP, the police and the Mossos, and the bulk of the media, have poured into what is already a monstrous campaign of criminalization against the exemplary struggle of the people of Catalonia.
The slander of presenting our determination to take to the streets as a "violent tumult" — not in vain did Pedro Sánchez use the word "violence" in his speech on Wednesday night on more than thirty times — even as terrorism, has nothing to do with what is happening in Catalonia.
The truth is concrete: the state apparatus inherited directly from the dictatorship, and full of Francoists, has declared war on the people of Catalonia, denying their legitimate right to decide. What we are experiencing is the massive rejection of a regime, that of 1978, which is dragging on very serious authoritarian and reactionary stances, starting with the same monarchy that was hand-picked by the dictator, and which has led the workers and young people of Catalonia and the rest of the State to a nightmare situation in a so-called democracy.
Years of brutal social cuts, of evictions, of chronic unemployment, of junk jobs and miserable wages, of marginalization in our neighborhoods, of privatization of education and public health... while banks are saved with public money, corrupt politicians are amnestied, rapists are condemned to ridiculous penalties by a classist and patriarchal justice, and our democratic rights are repressed by the Gag Law.
The "sacred unity of the homeland" was enshrined in the Constitution of 78 as a requirement of the heirs of Francoism. The Catalan people or anyone else was never asked if they wanted this unity imposed with the sabre rattling of the military.
Every day the mass media speak about October 1, 2017. But one has to tell the truth, not lies. On that day, more than two million people peacefully exercised their right to decide, and did so in favor of independence and the republic, resisting the unbridled repression of thousands of civil guards and national police under the orders of the centralist state.
Yes, on that day there was excessive violence in the streets of Catalonia. But that violence was from one side only, as witnessed by thousands of photographs, home videos and images that passed through the mass media throughout the day.
Now they intend to do the same, and accuse the Catalan people and the Catalan youth of "violence" and "terrorism". They can’t deceive us. It is the regime of 1978, the Government and the State, which, making use of what they call "legitimate violence", prevent democracy with truncheons, imprison those who organise a referendum condemning them to incredible penalties, and give wings to Spanish nationalism, the same that plunged this country into a dictatorship that our parents and grandparents endured for almost forty years.
Today, the youth of Catalonia has taught everyone a lesson. To those who encourage police repression, to those who from the Government of Catalonia fill their mouths with "disobedience" while at the same time sending the Mossos to beat us and see if we abandon the streets, and also to that Spanish parliamentary left which gives us lectures for us to be submissive and to accept the injustice of the system. It is incredible how those who came to "fight against the caste" and "assault the skies" are now positioned with the legality of the truncheons, rubber bullets, tear gas and the Supreme Court ruling.
The Sindicat d'Estudiants would like to thank thousands and thousands of young people from the rest of the Spanish State who have given us their support, and have made it very clear that we are not alone in this fight for freedom. We are convinced that this cause is completely just and will be victorious.
Lastly, we call on all the Catalan youth to continue the general strike tomorrow, Friday the 18th, to unite with the working class in the big pickets of the morning and in what will be immense demonstrations in the afternoon. Nothing and no one will prevent us from conquering the right to decide and the Catalan republic of workers and youth.