Against the instrumentalisation of the victims


Declaration of the Anti-imperialist Camp on the Madrid bombings

Immediately after the news about the attacks on the train stations in Madrid had been spread in the morning of March 11, one could already feel the consequences which might be even more dramatic than the sad and pitiable number of civil victims: its political exploitation for a all-out attack on the democratic rights and particularly against the right to self-determination of the Basque people.

The corporate media which are more and more a decisive arm of criminalisation and mobilisation in the service of the establishment had the perpetrators ready to be presented to the public: the Basque armed independence organisation ETA. The Spanish prime minister Aznar affirmed that there could not be any doubt that behind the operation there is ETA. With his rhetoric of "we will defeat them (the terrorists)" repeated like a prayer he increasingly resembles G. W. Bush.

While in other cases the imperialist establishment blames Al-Qaida for any military action from the Philippines to Latin America passing by the Middle East, in this particular case they tried to exclude an Islamist authorship by all means. This fact displays the infamous and arbitrary way in which imperialism uses the term "terrorism" in order to justify their crusade against any legitimate opposition to their rule.

The facts revealed, however, clearly indicate that ETA has nothing to do with the attacks. ETA itself refused several times any responsibility whatsoever. The logic of the political confrontation over Euskal Herria (Basque Country) itself sharply contradicts the assumption of the implication of Basque left nationalism while the Espanolist ruling power got every interest to blame it on the Basques. This accusation not only instrumental for the electoral campaign of the People´s Party (PP). Their intentions have much more profound roots.

Despite the ban of the Basque popular party Batasuna (representing some 20% of the electorate) and the violent repression against the movement and the media of the independentist left, the Basque forces were able to defend themselves against the offensive of the Spanish state. Faced with a deep conflict between Espanolist constitutionalism on one hand and bourgeois autonomism asking for more democratic rights for the autonomous regions on the other hand, Basque left nationalism could successfully intervene: with a clear position calling for the democratic and sovereign self-determination of the Basque people they could forge new alliances.

Within this framework the post-Francist government of Aznar has waged an unprecedented wave of persecution against the Basque movement. The populist mass mobilisation "against terror" might open a new unexpected escalation of the anti-Basque repression.

But also all over Europe the exploitation of the Madrid attacks for a new offensive "against terror" is looming. This does not only imply new restrictions curbing the democratic rights but will deepen the war alliance with the US and will strengthen the pro-US forces in Europe. The policy of occupation, aggression and violation of international law directed against the oppressed peoples will be stepped up backed by a violent media war of lies and manipulations like those around the events of Madrid. Any attempt to overcome armed conflicts by granting political self-determination and social justice will be criminalized.

Also the Anti-imperialist Camp has been affected by this impending attack on the anti-imperialist forces in Europe. On March 11 the pro-Yankee, anti-Islamic and militarist journalist Magdi Allam published an article in the most important Italian daily "Corriere della Sera" which directly blames the "Spanish section of the Anti-imperialist Camp" for the attacks. In his fantastic uncovering he claims that behind our intransigent defence of both the Iraqi and the Basque people (covered even by international law) there is the "alliance between Al-Qaida and ETA" operated by the "agents of Saddam Hussein which infiltrated the Anti-imperialist Camp".

We denounce by the strongest terms possible this infamous attempt of criminalisation and call upon all democratic and anti-imperialist forces to unite against this witch hunt.

We condemn the exploitation of the tragic events of Madrid by a policy of curbing the democratic rights especially the right of the Basque people to self-determination.

We will oppose and fight the new wave of anti-Arab and Anti-Islamic chauvinism and we reaffirm of full and total support to the Iraqi and Palestinian resistance. We view them as popular liberation struggles against an illegal occupation by foreign powers. Resistance is fully legitimate in whatever form including the armed one.

We bemoan the events of Madrid and we warn that the policy of war and aggression waged by imperialism led by the US will lead to a more and more extreme operations in a asymmetric confrontation. Only the conquest of democratic and social rights by the peoples, the struggle against occupation and poverty can lay the base for peace and real security. The "pre-emptive permanent war" of the US and their European allies could lead to further retaliatory attacks on the European civil population following the pattern of Madrid in a conflict without borders, borders which are being disrespected and dismantled first of all by imperialism itself. Nobody can deny the nexus with the participation of the Spanish state in the Anglo-American war of aggression and the subsequent occupation of Iraq against the explicit will of some 80% of the population.

Our response is and will be the anti-imperialist struggle thus uprooting the reasons for the tragic events which originate in the imperialist system itself. Only the anti-imperialist liberation struggles can forge fraternity between the people.

No instrumentalisation of the victims for a new round of repression against the Basque people!

Halt the criminalisation of the anti-imperialist opposition!

The Iraqi resistance is just and legitimate!

To conquest peace – fight and attack imperialism!