A state unmasks itself: Pablo Hasél and the repression of solidarity protests

As the protests continue into a third night against Pablo Hasél’s arrest …

The King is naked. The authoritarian drift of the state

Embat, Organització Llibertària de Catalunya/A las barricadas

After the imprisonment of rapper Pablo Hasél for a song against the monarchy, after the violent repression of the protests against his imprisonment, after the totally unpunished demonstration of neo-Nazis in Madrid praising the División Azul/Blue Division, after the unleashed police action in Linares, after months of a dusk curfew while every morning we go to work like sardines in trains, or even after the rush to put the Procés prisoners back in prison after the bad results for the regime in the Catalan elections, we are living through a new turn of events in the Spanish state.

All of the above, and more, are related to so-called “democratic normality”, or rather its non-existence. As the Vice President of the Government [Pablo Iglesias] himself indicates – the same one who commissioned the song from Hasél and then did not want to know anything about the legal repercussions of it – Spain is a democracy of low intensity. With all of the above, we are converging not with the most advanced countries in northern Europe, but rather with the countries of the East.

In less than a week, the contradictions of the Spanish state have been revealed. The greatest of all is that there is a government that is said to be left-wing and progressive and every day we have news of the opposite. For example, its lack of decision or desire to protect those below, while submitting to those above, or its cynicism in defending that nothing happens when Francoist manifestos are signed in the army. Time and again, the government demonstrates that it has no power. Who has it then? Who has it is a deep state that controls the sewers. And from with them, it controls all the other levers: the army, the judiciary, the media, large companies, politicians or the police. And of course, the monarchy. That is not missing.

The problem is not Hasél. It is a consequence of the problem. The real elephant in the room is that the Spanish state is in the hands of that deep state that is traversed by the same reactionary ideas of Francoism. The state is a Franco regime with a democratic veneer. And this cannot be changed by the PSOE or Podemos, no matter how much of the government they have.

The rise of the extreme right in Spain means that somehow the flock has gotten out of control and that it is time to get the dogs out. The Catalan national question of the last decade caused the gradual appearance of this new political actor that dominates the country, Justice. This actor is in charge of legislating, giving its opinion and clearly setting the state’s political agenda. And this actor is sustained by the media bombardment of certain issues, to educate the population. They do so, for example, when they speak of lost eyes instead of mutilated ones, when they do not speak of violence carried out by the State through the police, or when they divert attention from the root of the problem by placing a perverse definition of civility at the center of the debate. The institutions also feed this bombardment, proposing how, now yes, a reform of the penal code that could have been done months ago, the repeal of the Gag Law and a pardon for Hasél. In addition to all of this being too being late, it is nothing more than a band-aid and not a solution.

This whole matter was well exposed in the fall of 2019, with the court sentence against of the Referendum. And it becomes clear now. The Spanish Justice system does not care about the law. What concerns it is imposing a way of life in accordance with its principles. The rest has no place.

To not understanding that to advance all of this has to be uncovered is to continue playing the game of the post-Franco state. Catalan politics is in this situation. They understand how the state works, but then they call to order. They don’t want their shack to be burnt down. Protests yes, but peaceful. Feminism yes, but without losing privileges. Anger yes, but contained. Four shouts and go home. Whoever has this logic does not aspire to change anything, but to participate in the management of what exists. Doing nothing, as left-wing politicians or Catalan nationalists would like, is to allow situations like these to become normalised and to go further.

Anger and outrage appear as isolated outbreaks. When they are shared by the population, no manifesto is needed. A burning container is enough and thousands of people – not only in Catalonia but throughout the state – understand the message. Young men and women understand that this reality must be faced, young women no longer accept being left behind. Not only for Pablo Hasél but for our future as free people.

So we must intervene in the messages that are being given these days, because they erode the credibility of the state. And the most significant message is the defense of freedom in the street by all means necessary. What is played out every night is by the best of our people. And it is necessary that as a society we give them our full support in these days and those to come. We need to show solidarity with the detainees and the wounded.

We demand the freedom of Pablo, and of all political prisoners, the immediate release of all detained persons, the dissolution of BRIMO [mobile Catalan mobile police brigades] and the fall of the monarchy and the fascist state. Only from this point can we build something else.

PabloHaselLlibertat #LlibertatPabloHasel #LibertadPabloHasel #StopFoam

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