In response to the call for general strike, we join the rest of the groups that are concerned about the content of the ruling of the Supreme Court
Barcelona, October 18, 2019
Before the general strike called in response to the ruling of the Supreme Court last Monday, the Alliance against Energy Poverty (APE), a social movement committed to economic and social rights, but also civilians and politicians of citizens, we make public our positioning in this respect and we encourage everyone to participate in the different mobilizations that aim to denounce any possible limitation of fundamental rights.
As we stated through our social media in the past days, we bealieve the ruling by the Supreme Court made earlier this week is not only disproportionate but also sets a terribly dangerous precedent in the face of future protests. In the resolution, despite the recognition that there have been no episodes of widespread or instrumental violence in the trial, the Court understands that non-violent civil disobedience may be comparable to an uprising when it proves to hinder or impede compliance with court decisions or laws and, therefore, it considers it to be framed within the crime of sedition (with prison terms between 4 and 15 years).
This criminalization of the protest and specifically of civil disobedience is a red line that transcends any ideology or political identification. Therefore, despite our scope of action may seem distant to this matter, we are deeply concerned with what we understand one more step in a regressive and limiting right-wing drift that began with the approval four years ago of the "gag law" and the Criminal Code reform. Civil disobedience is and has been a transformative practice and has broad social consensus: from demonstrations against racial segregation to neighborhood struggles for housing, right to energy and water or transport.
APE is a social movement made up of people of different ideologies and sensibilities and we have been for more than five years defending the fundamental rights of the citizen in terms of access to basic supplies, especially those of families in situations of vulnerability. Throughout this time, we have used different ways to defend these rights. Mainly, we have relied on mutual assistance, solidarity and citizen empowerment as tools that lead not only to demand but to exercise these rights in a direct way.
Despite this empowerment, we find that we live in a terribly unequal system and that in spite of all the efforts, sometimes the actions of civil disobedience are the only way to transform the reality that surrounds us and safeguard the basic rights of our fellow citizens. The big corporations of the oligopoly have infinitely superior resources to ours, either in terms of advertising in large media or the influence they may have on the political class or in these same media and public opinion. In this way, civil disobedience is precisely the most effective mechanism to try to balance this disparity of power somewhat. The criminalization of this type of action aims to demobilize the citizenship and generate fear, and has as main effect that these inequalities are even deepened and more evident.
For all this, as other collectives and entities have done, we add to the denunciation of what we understand as a serious violation of fundamental rights, such as those of manifestation and freedom of expression, and reject any initiative that has as a form of criminalize the peaceful and non-violent protest. APE will always be next to the citizenship when these rights are in danger.