Conclusions from the Spanish
Meeting of Solidarity with Iraq
and 22 June, 2003.
Translated into English by Donald Murphy
participating in the Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions
on Iraq have decided to establish a new Spanish Campaign against
the Occupation of Iraq and for Iraqi Sovereignty, as a framework
for activities of political solidarity with Iraq.
"The invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the lifting of
sanctions under resolution 1483, have forced the CELSI to enter
into a new phase. The intention of those collectives working
in recent years within the CELSI is to maintain the structure
of coordination which, building on that which already exists,
will assume the new challenges of solidarity with an occupied
Iraq, will be open in this new phase to the maximum number of
organizations and collectives, and will act in coordination with
similar international movements, particularly those in the Arab
27 June, 2003,
Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq (CELSI), promoted
by and comprising diverse Spanish organizations and collectives,
has in recent years held a commitment to denounce as genocide
the impact of the economic embargo under which Iraq has suffered
since August 1990 and to demand that it be ended, setting forth
at the same time the key points of strategy behind the siege
of the country waged by successive US administrations.
Now, after the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the lifting
of sanctions under resolution 1483 (approved this past 22 May
by the Security Council of the United Nations, at the urging
of the US and the UK and with Spain's support), a new phase has
begun for the CELSI. Recognizing a common heritage and legitimacy
in regard to Spanish and international solidarity with Iraq,
these events pose new objectives and new projects for the campaign,
considering that the aforementioned resolution recognizes the
US and the UK as having the ruling authority in Iraq, purports
to legitimise the invading armies as occupation forces, and establishes
a new framework of neo-colonial domination for the country's
and occupation of Iraq, and the lifting of sanctions under resolution
1483, have forced the CELSI to enter into a new phase. The intention
of the collectives working in recent years have within the CELSI
is to maintain the structure of coordination which, building
on that which already exists, will assume the new challenges
of solidarity with an occupied Iraq, will be open in this new
phase to the maximum number of organizations and collectives,
and in coordination with other maximum number of organizations
and collectives, and will act in coordination with similar international
movements, particularly those in the Arab world. The goal is
to maintain as so far has been the case a de-centralized
but coordinated structure of mutual support permitting the exchange
of information, the channelling of efforts and the safeguarding
of permanent contacts with the aim of developing joint coordinated
initiatives and achieving common goals.
of Spain having collectives which have worked in continuous coordination
against the embargo in recent years within the CELSI are: Andalusia,
Asturias, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castille-La Mancha,
Castille-Leon, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia, Madrid
and the Valencian Community. Representatives from all of these
regions, as well as from trade unions and universities (a total
of 83 individuals) met in Madrid during the weekend of 21 and
22 June, 2003, and reached the conclusions detailed in this document.
has been renamed "The Spanish Campaign against the Occupation
of Iraq and for Iraqi Sovereignty" (CEOSI).
(a) The occupation
of Iraq by the invading troops; this being the result of an illegal
and illegitimate war.
(b) The lies
which led to the invasion of the country (the supposed existence
of weapons of mass destruction and the linking of Iraq to international
(c) The immediate
consequences of the war: the premeditated destruction of the
country's infrastructure, the effects of the use of depleted
uranium weapons, the despoiling of the country's cultural wealth.
(d) The post-war
situation. The occupying forces' non-compliance of their responsibilities,
such as in the maintenance of basic living conditions for the
(e) The commercial
objectives hiding behind the so-called reconstruction of the
country: economic interests and a neo-colonial administration.
The provision for the dismantling of governmental services to
the public, and the population's loss of civil rights, particularly
in regard to employment.
(f) The colonial
and ethnic fragmentation provoked by the occupying forces with
the purpose of ensuring their control over the Iraqi population.
The possible use by the US of Islam through Islamist organizations
as an instrument to justify the restriction of civil rights,
e.g. regarding the rights of women.
aid (official as well as non-governmental) seen as legitimising
the occupation. The interrelation between the occupation's military
forces ("humanitarian armies") and the NGO's.
(h) The complicity
of the Spanish government in the war and its active implication
in the occupation, with special attention to the forthcoming
dispatch of additional troop and civil guard contingents to Iraq.
(i) The role
played by international entities (the EU and the UN) and their
submission to the hegemonic policies of the US. The condemnation
of the approval of resolution 1483 as legitimising the invasion
and occupation of Iraq and establishing a framework of neo-colonial
domination over the country. The subsidiary implication of NATO
in the occupation of Iraq.
(j) The new
concept of "preventive war", "permanent war"
or "global war against terrorism" exemplified
by the aggression against Iraq as an instrument for unrestricted
a continuum between the three phases of the US intervention against
Iraq: the Security Council's sanctions and the Gulf War (1990-2003
and January-February, 1991, respectively); the military invasion
of March-April 2003 by the US, the UK and their allies, and the
current occupation of the country; and the project for neo-colonial
domination prefigured in resolution 1483. The invasion of Iraq
must be understood as the culmination of a process of strategic
control over Iraq as a developing Arab power in the Middle East
(considering its combination of population and resources), in
the wider context of the US's determination to consolidate its
regional and international domination (the revival of imperialism).
with its condemnation of the invasion, occupation and neo-colonial
domination of Iraq, the CEOSI has established as a relevant line
of activity the defence of the Iraqi population's right to defend
itself against the forces of occupation (as set forth by international
law), as well as the vindication of its right to self-rule. (During
the meeting the possibility was evaluated that casualties may
be noted among civil servants and military personnel of the Spanish
security forces assigned to Iraq as participants in the US-controlled
administration or as occupation forces, this having a potential
effect on changing Spanish public opinion in respect to the conflict
and impairing an opinion favourable to the Iraqi people's right
(c) To this
effect, the CEOSI will strive to establish a dialogue with progressive
Iraqi forces opposed to the occupation of their country and which
defend a project of national liberation with a clear social and
radical democratic content. In the same way, the CEOSI will strive
to uphold the networks of international and Arab contacts established
by the CELSI in past years through its work of solidarity with
Iraq, organizing collective informational activities which offer
an alternative point of view and make the new Campaign a reference
point for the situation in Iraq and the region.
(d) The process
of US intervention against Iraq as well as the activities of
solidarity with this country and its population carried out by
the CEOSI must be structured and explained in regional terms;
specifically, in regard to the project for the economic and political
insertion of Israel into the Arab world (the Arab-Israeli negotiation
and normalization process) and the dependent insertion of the
Arab region into a globalised capitalist economy (the project
for the creation of a US-Arab free trade zone). In particular
and within this context the war of aggression against Iraq must
be associated with the Palestinian-Israeli negotiation process
and the US proposal referred to as the "Road map".
It is important to understand that the concept of "preventive
war" applied by the Bush Administration to Iraq may be extended
to other areas of the Middle East, and that it is already applied
daily by Israel against the Palestinian population in the Occupied
a constitutional manifesto for the new Campaign. The points to
be covered in the manifesto are: the structure of the war against
Iraq, the new situation created as a consequence of the occupation,
the condemnation of the Spanish government's implication (making
Spain a potential occupier), and the critical evaluation of the
role played by various international entities (the UN and the
EU), along with a defence of the Iraqi people's right to resist
the invading forces and to self-rule.
(b) The immediate
creation of a poster with a common design for all of the regions
of Spain and printed in five languages (Bable, Catalonian, Spanish,
Basque and Galician). To facilitate this, the production of the
poster will be handled by those various collectives in each region
which use their native languages, based on a common design which
we will try to have donated by a renowned artist. The slogans
on the poster will be the following:
against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq
For the people's right to resistance and self-rule
Let us not forget
This last slogan
refers to the Spanish government's implication in the invasion
and occupation of Iraq.
(c) The organization
of a cultural week of solidarity with Iraq, on a national level
and in the last quarter of the year, featuring diverse cultural
activities (poetry, music, film, theatre), as well as informative
events and debates on the situation in Iraq.
in association with that stated in (c), organising an international
conference to debate the war and the post-war situation in Iraq
(its current state and perspectives for the future). This conference
might be combined with a tour of various regions of Spain by
one of the participants (as has already been done in the past
with Hans von Sponeck and Dennis Halliday). The city to host
the central event is yet to be determined. In this meeting
or in more specific ones an exchange of information with
invited Arab organizations will be encouraged. One of the key
features of this meeting will be a debate on a people's right
to resistance and the perverse use of the term "terrorism"
to de-legitimise this right.
syndicated campaigns to the OIT and the CES, providing information
and denouncing working conditions which the occupying forces'
projects for the dismantling of the Iraqi state will create for
Iraqi civil servants and workers.
the individual and collective signing of a lawsuit, presented
to the Supreme Court by the Free Association of Lawyers (ALA)
against the Aznar government for its support of and implication
in the invasion of Iraq, to which the Report of the Spanish Brigade
on the attacks against the civilian population of Baghdad (www.nodo50.org/ala
and www.nodo50.org/csca) has contributed.
(a) The possibilities
for travelling to Iraq will be examined and evaluated. Given
the difficulty of organizing a comprehensive delegation to Iraq
like those organized in recent years by the CELSI, it is proposed
that organizing a small group from the CEOSI comprising
10-12 persons be considered, with the purpose of visiting
Iraq and investigating the situation within the country.
(b) In equal
measure, if possible, a continuation of the programme of sanitary
collaboration with Iraq carried out by the CELSI since January
1996 (with the financial support of the Principate of Asturias
and the local governments of Alicante and Madrid, principally)
will be sought, having the following considerations:
- its objective
will be to favour the maintenance of Iraqi public services against
the privatisation projects (including the privatisation of health
care) being carried out by the occupation authorities and by
the Iraqi authorities which these have designated;
- that it can
be carried out through an Iraqi social dialogue committed to
the preceding criteria;
- that it does
not involve submission to control by the occupation forces and
to the Iraq authorities associated with these, including controls
regulating entry into the country and the circulation within
it of persons and materials from the CEOSI.
In the same way, the project undertaken by the University of
Oviedo for the evaluation of radioactive contamination resulting
from the use of depleted uranium weapons during the Gulf War
of 1991 will be resumed, extending now to such contamination
as has been produced by the recent invasion.
as the CEOSI and from within the various regional organizations,
in whatever national and international spheres (social forums,
anti-war platforms, etc.) permit the further development of solidarity
with the Iraqi people and the Middle East region within the parameters
presented here. Participation in the next Mediterranean Social
Forum has been specifically emphasized.
full advantage of the resources of CSCAweb (www.nodo50.org/csca)
as a medium of communication and information exchange between
the various collectives of the CEOSI in Spain. It is important
to bear in mind the nature and the independence of the Campaign's
constituents, while upholding its common objectives and coordination.
of the meeting express their solidarity with Revolta de Valencia
against the fine imposed upon it and the order for the closure
of its premises, CA Revolta, in that city.
21 and 22 June, 2003