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Spanish state

“Not in our name”

Call to mobilise against war and hatred in the Spanish state

Wednesday 25 November 2015, by Alex Merlo

Last Monday night (23 November) a group of social activists, intellectuals and newly elected mayors in the Spanish state launched a manifesto against war and hatred, in response to the war rhetoric and the restrictions in freedoms that have been spreading since the Paris bombings. You can find the full English text below and here.

We have obtained already more than 17000 signatures and a strong political echo. We are calling for demonstrations on Saturday noon, already in nine different Spanish cities. See on Facebook here.

NOT IN OUR NAME

The brutal attacks in Paris on 13 November were designed to install a climate of fear among the population, to build walls of suspicion and hatred between neighbours, to shatter community life and to bring the politics of fear to our daily lives. If the response to such barbarism involves suspending rights, cutting back on liberties and locking ourselves in our homes, the victory of terrorism will be complete. If we respond to the pain of innocent victims by causing pain to more innocent victims, the spiral of violence will be unstoppable. If we look for culprits among our neighbours, just because they dress or think differently, if we criminalize those fleeing the same horror, we will help to reinforce the walls that fanatics want to create. We cannot allow this.

The terrorist fanaticism of Daesh (ISIS) is a function of, and feeds, racist European fanaticism, while our governments cut social rights and fundamental freedoms, and practise institutional xenophobia and indiscriminate bombings, which have been proven ineffective. We refuse to get involved in a false trade-off between rights and security. Whether here in Spain, in Paris, in Iraq, or in Syria, it is ordinary people who die while others traffic influence, weapons or their own geostrategic interests. The fanatical hatred of a few cannot be used to justify for new hatred. We refuse to be hostages to hatred, terror and intolerance; that would be to give in to terrorism.

We, the undersigned, believe that democracy, human rights and the desire for peace and justice are not a bargaining chip, but are, in themselves, the way, the goal, and the best answer to those who would destroy them. That’s why we vehemently oppose any response to hatred that implies more hatred, more intolerance, more deaths of innocent people, and fewer rights and freedoms.

Convinced that this is a time, not only at which citizens shouldn’t hide, but at which we should lead the response to terrorism, we will come together on Saturday November 28 at 12:00 in the Plaza del Reina Sofia Museum to condemn the terrorist attacks in Paris and Lebanon and to reject both the bombings against the civilian population of Syria and ineffective restrictions to democracy in the name of security, as well as the militaristic foreign policy initiated by Bush Blair and Aznar. We invite other municipalities to join this initiative and to promote similar citizen demonstrations.

We say no to terrorism, Islamophobia and war.

Neither restrictions to our freedoms, nor bombing, will bring us security and peace.

Not in our name.