Socialist Worker

Our rulers are violent hypocrites

Issue No. 2574

There have been big protests against the violence

There have been big protests against the violence (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The Spanish state has responded to the Catalan independence referendum with violence.

Some people have said it reminds them of the time of Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco. But it’s not just states with a history of dictatorship that act in this way.

During the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5 in Britain, Margaret Thatcher authorised police to use violence against strikers and their supporters. And British troops murdered 14 people on a Civil Rights march in Derry in1972.

The massacre became known as Bloody Sunday.

Tony Doherty, the son of Patrick Doherty who died on that day, was right about the violence. “The repression we suffered was the same as against ordinary people all over the world—as in Sharpeville, Tiananmen Square, Darfur, Fallujah and Gaza,” he said.

Add Catalonia to the list. This is how even the most “liberal” capitalist state defends itself when its authority is seriously challenged.

Some politicians and the media have condemned the violence in Catalonia, conveniently forgetting the crimes of their own states.

We shouldn’t forget that behind their words about equality and fairness lies the iron fist of state repression.

Our rulers twist—and in extreme circumstances dump—democracy when we don’t give them the answers they want.


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