Paul Murphy TD speaks out against Spanish State repression in Catalonia

Socialist Party member and Solidarity TD Paul Murphy spoke out in defence of the rights of the people of Catalonia to decide their own future in the Dáil this week: 

“It is precisely democratic institutions that are under threat from the Spanish Government. It is the democratically elected regional government of Catalonia that has called the referendum which is a democratic act. In Catalonia the vast majority of people from all backgrounds – measured at over 80% in a recent opinion poll – support the calling of the referendum. That is unlike the example in the North, where the legacy of the Troubles remains and sectarian divisions between the two communities are predominant. This is essentially a question of democracy and the right of the people to decide. The Spanish state is made up of many nationalities and the question is whether the Irish Government stands with the European Union in supporting the horrific anti-democratic repression that is taking place; it is occupation and a denial of the democratic right of the people in Catalonia. Does the Irish Government side with those who seek to exercise that democratic right?”

“I am not asking the Minister to take a position on the referendum or the Irish Government to call for a “Yes” or “No” vote. I am calling on it to recognise that the people have the right to decide and that the referendum should go ahead without horrific repression by the Spanish state that is seeking to shut it down. There are coercive elements in the Spanish state constitution such as Article 155 which denies the national and democratic rights of the people. We stand with our brothers and sisters in our sister organisations in the Spanish state and Catalonia for the unity of working people in Catalonia and people across the Spanish state in defence of democratic and national rights. We stand against the right-wing and repressive Rajoy government. This is about ordinary people on the ground and those who are struggling. They are building a major school student strike on 28 September and dockers have rightly refused to assist police boats in Barcelona port. Others are pushing for a one-day general strike in Catalonia and the Spanish state to defend the democratic rights under threat.”