Press statement by Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme on the crisis in Plataforma per Catalunya
Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme (UCFR, Unity Against Fascism and Racism), the network of 400 social, cultural, trade union and political organisations in Catalunya, celebrates the removal of Josep Anglada as president of the fascist party Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC).
In 2010, when UCFR was established, some people saw the electoral growth of PxC as something inevitable, and believed that the best strategy was not to speak of the party nor of its leader, Josep Anglada, arguing that to do so was to give it publicity. UCFR, however, did not share this approach and has always acted according to the principle that to deal with the problem it was essential to face up to it openly, making clear the danger it represents. For that reason, UCFR has denounced —with a quarter of a million leaflets; thousands of posters and stickers; dozens of public events; and numerous street protests— the fascist nature of this party.
This constant work by the activists of UCFR, as well as by the entities that make it up, in the different neighbourhoods, towns and counties of Catalunya, has weakened and divided PxC. Over recent years, this fascist party has experienced one defeat after another. In November 2011, PxC failed in its attempt to enter the Spanish Congress. In November 2012, they remained outside the Parliament of Catalonia, with a significant loss of votes compared to the previous Catalan elections. And all this happened in a European context where the extreme right increased their representation in several neighbouring countries.
These losses have contributed to the loss of sympathisers, members and councillors. Since the last elections, PxC has lost fifteen of the 67 council seats obtained in May 2011. Last summer, Josep Anglada suffered a humiliating defeat in his home town when the City Council of Vic passed a resolution, promoted by the local UCFR group, which denied PxC the use of municipal facilities. And just a week ago, the then international secretary, Enric Ravello, left the party.
The removal of the fascist from Vic as President of the party that he founded is also a consequence of this ongoing and permanent situation of decline. A decline that has been caused in large part by the growing contradictions between the public message and the reality of the party, something that UCFR has continued to highlight; as well as by the public and media perceptions of the fascist nature of this party and of its president and best known leader. A perception to which the joint work carried out by UCFR, as well as other organisations, has contributed greatly.
However, the removal of Anglada is only one step, and not even the most important one, towards the eradication of fascism from our country. The leaders of PxC who brought down Anglada are potentially as or more dangerous than the fascist from Vic. In UCFR we believe it is too early to know whether the new leadership of PxC will manage to stop the haemorrhage of members and councillors, and achieve real control over the party, or whether PxC will tear itself apart as a result of the infighting that has already been going on for a long time.
In UCFR we are fully aware that the fascist threat has not disappeared, and for that reason it will be necessary to strengthen the work of our local groups and create new ones where PxC continues to be active. But we will also be ready to respond quickly and effectively in areas where the fascists take to the streets with graffiti, demonstrations or attacks.
Next May, different populist, xenophobic and extreme right candidatures will stand in the European elections. For this reason, in coordination with other European organizations, we are calling for demonstrations across the continent on 22 March. In Barcelona, we will demonstrate with the slogan “Let’s unite against fascism and racism”, and various local events will be held around that date.
We have shown that with united mobilisation we can break fascism. For that reason we commit ourselves to carry on. Fascism must be fought!
They shall not pass! No passaran!
Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme
Barcelona, 9 February 2014