Lucía Nistal spoke on behalf of the Corriente Revolucionaria de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras (CRT, Revolutionary Workers Current), Left Voice’s sister organization in the Spanish State, at a demonstration against the war in Ukraine held in Madrid on Sunday, April 4. The protest was called by the Popular Assembly Against the War and was the first in the country to denounce both the Russian-led war and NATO intervention in Eastern Europe
Today, many of us have filled the streets of Madrid to say no to this war, to the more than a month of this barbarism in Ukraine, which has already created three-and-a-half million refugees and has killed thousands upon thousands.
We must confront this war by mobilizing to demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and the end of this invasion, which we know serves only the interests of Putin and his oligarchy. But at the same time — and we must make this very clear — we must also denounce the imperialist interference of NATO and the European Union. They are full of talk about democracy, but for years they have been bolstering and supporting the reactionary Zelenskyy government. It is a government that relies on gangs of mercenaries and neo-Nazis, who violently attack Russian-speaking people in the country who are fighting for their self-determination. This government defends its own pro-imperialist agenda, which has nothing to do with the interests of the Ukrainian people.
Those of us here in the imperialist Spanish State also have an obligation to denounce the brutal campaign of imperialist and militarist rearmament on which all European governments are embarking. This includes the Spanish government led by the Socialist Partyz and Podemos. We must say no to the shipment of weapons to Ukraine, which only escalates the war and adds to the death count. We must say no to the sanctions against Russia, which, as always, end up being paid by the workers and the poor.
We must say no to this imperialist rearmament that takes the millions the government says was not available for health and education. This multi-million dollar increase in the military budget, paid for by the working class, will be used only to continue plundering and oppressing other peoples. At the same time, our so-called “progressive” government is demanding that working people make sacrifices because of the rising prices of everyday necessities while it proposes measures that will end up channeling public funds to benefit large corporations.
It is time for the trade unions to break with this government and develop a plan of struggle that will make the capitalists pay for the crisis — a plan of struggle against the consequences of the war, against the Russian occupation of Ukraine, and which can put a stop to the warmongering escalation of the European imperialist governments. What more do the unions need to issue a call to mobilize?
We also must denounce the role of imperialist diplomacy and Putin’s autocratic government, which in no way offers a progressive solution to the conflict and can bring nothing good to the people of Ukraine.
We do all this despite the propaganda, the enormous pressure, and the toxic debate on these questions. We must be courageous and defend an independent political solution based on internationalism and solidarity among the workers of the world.
Today, with this demonstration built by the Popular Assembly Against the War, we have taken a big step and have planted an independent flag. The CRT will continue to put all of our resources into developing this Assembly for building a massive internationalist movement against the war — one that extends beyond the Spanish State to all of Europe, and that seeks and alliance with the working class and people of Russia to confront the autocratic Putin regime and resists his brutal repression.
Neither Putin, nor NATO, nor imperialist rearmament! As the socialist women said at the time of World War I: War on war!
First published in Spanish on April 4 in IzquierdaDiario.es in the Spanish State.
Translation by Scott Cooper