Anti-fascist parties vote to make common cause against the far right

MP Najat Driouech: “We are building a democratic front, a wall of rights and freedoms to defy those who make hatred and intolerance their raison d’être, the cause of their political action.”

An overwhelming majority of the members of the Parliament of Catalonia want the house to shield itself from the disruption of the far right and reassert its commitment to “a diverse and cohesive Catalonia built of rights and freedoms.” That is one of the statements in the joint motions for resolution agreed upon by the parliamentary groups of Esquerra Republicana, centre-right JxCat, and left-wing CUP-UNCPG and En Comú Podem submitted for debate in the next plenary session. The groups will also submit a proposal to re-establish the commission to study institutional and structural racism in Catalonia, which was already proposed by Esquerra in the last parliament.

Esquerra’s representatives for the anti-fascist accord, MPs Najat Driouech and Pau Morales, took part in the presentation of the two parliamentary propositions before the press today. These have not as yet been backed by the socialist PSC party, the Catalan instance of Spain’s governing PSOE. “It’s a commitment that Esquerra has always defended: the far right wins when political parties normalize their hate speech; the far right loses when we advance with rights and freedoms. Esquerra will not normalize the far right but fight it. That is why we progress with rights and freedoms for all citizens,” assured Ms Driouech in Parliament.

The four groups in favour of Catalonia’s right to self-determination will therefore vote in the plenary session on the anti-fascist pact signed in March. The aim is for Parliament to express its will to be a space for political debate of ideas, completely free of hate speech, and to curb all “extolling of discrimination” through a reform of the Parliament’s rules. This reform would strengthen the commitment against discrimination and harassment and establish sanctions in the event of non-adherence, and would modify the requirement of unanimity to approve institutional declarations in favour of a qualified majority.

In a feminist key, the proposal is also for Parliament “to formally and unanimously reject” any expression of violence against women, be it verbal, physical or psychological, both within and outside Parliament. In order to lay bare gender and racist violence, it is to continue its commitment to report at the beginning of each plenary session the drownings in the Mediterranean and all femicides committed, as well as an attendant minute of silence.

In addition, Catalonia’s Generalitat government is urged to promote a comprehensive Plan against Racism, Xenophobia, Romaphobia, Islamophobia and any other ethnic or racial discrimination, with specific measures in education, health, labour, access to housing and culture. And it calls for the deployment of the body that is to ensure the application of the Law on Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination passed at the end of the last parliament.

“The accords we have reached as a working group are a starting point from which to build a democratic front, a wall of rights and freedoms to defy those who make hatred and intolerance their raison d’être, the cause of their political action,” added Ms Driouech.