Spanish communists under threat of imprisonment

We reproduce here the press release of our comrades in Spain                                                     (Collectives of Young Communists – Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain) detailing the events which have led up to the anti-communist trial to be held next week. Red Youth stands in solidarity with these comrades who are victims of a much wider trend that today is on the rise across Europe and America. Two decades since the Soviet Union collapsed under the treachery of revisionism, the imperialist countries find themselves locked into the most serious capitalist crisis of overproduction yet witnessed. As the people rise up to fight this exploitative system, anti-communist forces are doing everything they can to slander, imprison and silence communists, they shall fail on all fronts! Victory to the CJC!

Juanjo Serrano, Xavier Auré and Albert Camarasa, PCPE and CJC militants, are pending for a trial – to take place after three failed attempts on the 1st of December – whose consequences would involve three years and ten months of prison for each of the defendants.

The Public Prosecutor Office requests three years and ten months of prison for three communists, members of the PCPE and CJC, its youth wing. The origin of this unjust charge is to be found during an anti-fascist demonstration which took place in Barcelona on November 14th, 2007. The anti-fascist movement took to the streets of Barcelona after the killing of a 16-years-old anti-fascist at the hands of a Spanish soldier in Madrid, on November 11th, 2007.

Lack of evidence turns the whole accusation into a perfectly orchestrated police set-up whose motivation seems to be the dismantling of communist and other anti-fascist organizations in this country.

The facts which leaded to this shameful situation are the following:

On 11th November 2007, Carlos Palomino, a young anti-fascist fighter, was killed by a 23-years-old fascist – professional soldier of the Spanish army – when going to a rally in support of racist ideas convened by Democracia Nacional, a prominent fascist party. Immediately after the killing, demonstrations to denounce fascist impunity took place across the country. The state of collective indignation was proportional to the brutality of the murder. In this sense, mass media contributed to lessen the repercussion by presenting the facts as the result of clashes between hard-line anti-system youngsters. This is a classic strategy used by the power to criminalise anti-fascist movement and rank it equally to neonazism.

On 14th November, different anti-fascist collectives and organizations called for a demonstration against fascist terror. Since the very beginning, catalan autonomic police, Mossos d’Esquadra – a squad leaded by Saura, Conseller of the Generalitat and member of ICV-EuiA, allies of Izquierda Unida and PCE – was under orders not to let demonstators through in a pacific way. As expected, police action was out of proportion; their main excesses included the taking of Barcelona’s city centre, disproportionate presence of riot police – ready to attack -, intimidations to demonstrators in the underground, ambulances all along the streets, threat of charge at the beginning of the demonstration…. All these facts contributed to create an artificial climate of danger; turning Barcelona into some sort of warlike scenario.

During the demonstration, diverse attempts to stop its course followed one another. Due to police intimidatory and vicious attitude, feelings of nervousness and indignation grew upon demonstrator in a significant way. This situation culminated in a brutal charge against anti-fascist people just 400 metres after the beginning of the demonstration. Riot control police clearly exceeded in their duty, since repressive actions spreaded throughout Barcelona’s city centre, reaching Passeig de Gràcia’s commercial zone. Needless to say, police’s actuation brought about an unjustifiable atmosphere of social commotion.

The results of police charge included diverse aggressions; in fact, many demonstrators had to be evacuated in ambulance. Moreover, five people were placed under arrest. In this sense, two comrades of JCPC-CJC were taken to the central police station of Barcelona. Due to the minor status of one of our comrades, police was forced to communicate the arrest to his family.

Immediately after the arrest, party leaders, accompanied by a lawyer and together with our comrades’ parents, appeared in the police station. At this moment, our comrades’ are required to identify themselves; after an endless wait, a policeman reported the official version of the events: In theory, our comrades were identified as subject of criminal actions during the demonstration. Reality proves, however, that one of the defendants, member of PCPC-PCPE, could not even attend the demonstration due to family issues. Thus, the whole accusation could be summed up as an ellaborated set-up whose intention is to criminalise anti-fascist struggle and communist ideas.

On the following days, the accusation was officially formulated:

– Firstly, three anti-fascist militants were arrested during the demonstration.

– Secondly, three comrades of PCPC-PCPE and JCJPC-CJC were accused of “an attack against authorities and public disorder” due to the making a supposed barricade and throwing stones to the police; all these accusations were presented without any piece of evidence. As a consequence, authorities ask for “three years and ten months of imprisonment and special disqualification of passive suffrage”. Minors’ expedient was archived, since Minors’ Court saw no evidence of crime. In order to sustain the charges, Public Prosecutor presented a single piece of “evidence”: police’s testimony. Nevertheless, no proof of the mentioned accusation could be found.

This is not the first time that Spanish Government appeals to false accusations with the objective of criminalising anti-capitalist movement. Police statements, on having presumption of truth, are more effective in legal terms than witnesses’ words. The uniqueness of this case lies in the fact that the accused were separated into two summaries: one of them referring to three activists of diverse organizations and another one referring to communist militants.

In view of the circumstances, PCPE and CJC call for active solidarity with the accused. National and international support is very important, for three communist militants risk prison due to unproved accusations. In the end, what lies behind the accusation is the everlasting persecution against our political project and revolutionary movements across our country. In this sense, campaigns of denounce against the police set-up, rallies and petition drives intend to stop this shameful situation.

The first trial against our three comrades was supposed to be held on December 21st, 2010; yet, due to a burocratic miscarriage – lack of presentation of a document from the Minors’ Prosecution Office – it was postponed until February 14th. The already mentioned document claimed absence of evidence for the accusation.

During the first days of February, our Party powered a massive solidarity campaign against the Prosecution Office. Increasing pressure, however, gave consequence to excessive presence of policemen during the trial. The objective was clear: to intimidate anti-fascist people gathering in support to the accused. Moreover, our comrades’ relatives were not able to even attend the trial, since docks were occupied by secret policemen, members of the information squad.

The trial, unfortunately, was postponed until the 1st of December due the same reason: bureaucracy was not capable of transferring a document from the Minors’ Public Court to the Court. In view of these facts, PCPE considers this stratagem as direct consequence of political pressure. In this sense, capitalist system is unable to condemn three communist militants due to the broad wave of solidarity. Thus, postponing the trial is just another device to lessen the impact of solidarity and, therefore, create a more favourable scenario to imprison our comrades.

Oficial trial is to be definetively held on the 1st of December. Our comrades’ situation is extremely difficult, for lack of graphic evidence facilitates police distortion. Sadly, burgeois system of dominance seems reluctant to admit the innocence of our comrades. The absurdity reaches its peak when false witnesses’ testimonies are judged in a positive manner and accused people are legally defenceless. Thus, in view of the circumstances, we have nothing to do but raise the banner of working class solidarity; proletarian internationalism shall prevail.”

For further information visit