The St. Louis chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America sends you our solidarity in the spirit of socialist internationalism. With the greatest support we are following your struggle against the forces of the Spanish state, which, with its brutal, naked police repression is showing the real face of “democracy” under capitalism. The very fact that the Spanish state feels that it must resort to police beatings, arrests, and the forcible closing of polling stations on a massive scale in order to prevent the Catalan people from exercising their democratic rights is positive proof that, from the standpoint of the workers and youth, and given that no nation has the right to interfere with the national sovereignty of another, Catalonia now takes her rightful place among independent nations.
Over the past several weeks, our chapter has been active in the movement against the institutional racism and repression of the police, following the judicial exoneration of a police killing of an unarmed black man, Anthony Lamar Smith. In the “democratic” U.S., over 97% of police officers are exonerated by the courts following police killings, which occur with shocking regularity. For 2017 alone, there have already been 737 people killed by the police. Over these past weeks, we have seen the police use the most repressive tactics and indiscriminate violence against demonstrations. They have trampled, arrested and humiliated elderly, retired teachers; sprayed chemical agents in the face of and broke bones of the elderly and young alike; arrested and brutalized religious leaders, and even arrested and attacked people simply for being near a demonstration, including one young man who had just had a kidney transplant and was denied critical medication while imprisoned.
While the demands we are fighting for in Catalonia and the USA differ in the particular, they are the same in the general – we are fighting for the democratic rights of the workers and youth, against the forces of a system that cannot provide those rights. The marvelous mass movement of the Catalan workers and the workers in the Spanish state supporting them is inspiring and shows that to earn even the barest of democratic rights under capitalism, a mass movement of the working class is necessary. If capitalism cannot provide us with genuine democracy, then capitalism must go. We are learning from your struggle, and as we fight police repression here, know that we support your struggle there.
The Executive Committee of the St. Louis Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America