Rappers in Catalan and Spanish call for freedom of expression — and commitment!

Catalan political activists are in jail for following their electorate’s wishes for independence from the Spanish State, while many election observers are on trial or threatened, along with 700 town mayors in Catalonia … meanwhile other political activists are in exile. In exile too is a rapper who had been sentenced to jail for his lyrics and actually in jail is rapper and poet Pablo Hasél.

Excellently compiled performance slices here in this video put together by rappers (and dancers) in Castillian (Spanish) and Catalan:
“Freedom of expression!

Take up a position!

Down with the prisons!

The Bourbons are robbers!”

Repression reigns in the southern Basque Country too and anywhere people in the Spanish state take up a position of dedicated resistance. But Catalonia is the current frontline.

Pablo Hasel portrait mural painted by street artist Jordit on a basketball court in Naples, southern Italy Photo: Ciro Fusco/ EFE)



End.

“The armed wing of the State will come to take me by force …” –PABLO HASÉL

(translated from Castillian by Diarmuid Breatnach)

(Reading time: 2 mins.)

STATEMENT BEFORE MY IMMINENT IMPRISONMENT:

In ten days the armed wing of the State will come to kidnap me by force to imprison me because I am not going to present myself at the prison voluntarily. I don’t know to which jail they will take me or for how long (I will be detained). Among all the cases that I have accumulated through struggle, some with convictions pending appeal and others pending trial, I could spend up to almost 20 years in prison.

This constant harassment that I have suffered for many years and that goes beyond prison sentences, is not only due to my revolutionary songs, but also because of my activism beyond music and writing. The Prosecutor herself put it into words: “he is dangerous for being so well known and inciting social mobilization.” Putting the struggle I speak of in my songs into practice is what has put me especially in the spotlight, in addition to supporting organizations that have fought the State, being in solidarity with their political prisoners and raising awareness by denouncing injustices by pointing out the culprits loudly and clearly.

“Do you swear to tell the whole truth?”
“I am here because of telling the whole truth.”
(Image sourced: Internet)

It is very important to be clear that this is not an attack only against me, but against freedom of expression and therefore against the vast majority who are not guaranteed it like so many other democratic freedoms. When they repress one, they do it to scare the rest. With this terrorism they want to prevent their crimes and policies of exploitation and misery from being denounced, we cannot allow it. They know that I’m not going to give up because I’m in prison, but they they do it in particular so that the rest do. By not internalizing that it is an aggression against any anti-fascist, solidarity has been lacking to avoid my imprisonment like so many others. The regime grows in the face of the lack of resistance and every day it takes away more rights and freedoms without thinking twice when it comes to attacking us — we need to organize self-defense against its systematic attacks. Many people write to me asking what they can do. It takes a lot of diffusion so that everyone knows what they are doing and is aware of it, but above all organization is urgent not only to bring solidarity to the events in the streets and coordinate it well, also to defend all the rights that they trample on with impunity.

It is also necessary to call out the badly-named “progressive” Government1 for allowing this and so much more; while protecting the Monarchy and increasing its budget, they do not touch the gag law and other repressive laws, they have also added the “digital gag law”, they continue to keep jails full of fighters in terrible conditions, in addition to other policies against the working class. There is no doubt that if we were imprisoned during a government of PP and VOX2 there would be much more of a scandal, but these phonies who while claiming to be left-wing have not even firmly opposed this.

“From above they mock the past, they tread on us in the present to rob us of our future.” (Image sourced: Internet)

I will not repent3 to reduce the sentence or avoid jail, serving a just cause is a cause of pride that I will never renounce. If they release me before the end of my sentence, it will be because solidarity pressure conquers them. Prison is another trench from which I will continue to contribute and grow, like so many other people I began to fight inspired by the example of resistance and other contributions of numerous political prisoners. I hope that this serious outrage will be used to add more people to the fight against the regime, enemy of our dignity, that if they imprison me to silence the message, they will give rise to a much greater voice and lose out. With regard to going into exile,4 I decided to remain here so that this opportunity can be used to expose them even more. This blow against our freedoms can turn against them, let’s get down to work.

Pablo Hasél.

(Image sourced: Internet)

BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO PABLO HASÉL:

Pablo Hasél (Pablo Rivadula Duró), poet, writer, political rapper and activist from Leida in Catalonia, 32 years of age, has described himself as a revolutionary Marxist. Since 2011 Hasél has been convicted in Spanish courts on a number of occasions of “promoting terrorism” and for “slandering” Spanish State and Royal institutions in his lyrics, as well as for allegedly assaulting a TV3 reporter and being party to an assault on a Catalan far-right group.

Pablo Hasél burning the colours of the Spanish monarchical state during a performance. (Image sourced: Internet)

Hasél began his recording in 2005 with Esto no es un Paradiso (This Is Not a Paradise) since when he has recorded another 64 discs on his own and another 35 in collaboration with others. In 2020 alone Hasél recorded two discs. He is also that author of nine poem collections, four of which are in collaboration with Aitor Cuervo Taboada, and one collection of stories.

FOOTNOTES

1The current Government, a coalition between the PSOE and Podemos. The former is the social-democratic party of the two-party system of the Spanish State which has been breaking down of late. Podemos-Izquierda is a coalition of trotskyist Left tendencies, Left social-democrats and the old Spanish Communist Party.

2The PP has been the right-wing conservative party of the two-party system of the Spanish State while Vox is even further to the Right.

3The Spanish penal and judicial system requires prisoners to repent of the “crimes” of which they have been convicted if they are to be moved to less harsh prison conditions or to be paroled. This is a particularly crushing requirement of inmates convicted of politically-inspired actions who are serving long sentences of a number of decades.

4 In May 2018, the day before he was due to surrender himself to Spanish jail, rapper Valtónyc (José Miguel Arenas) went into exile in Brussels.

“BELIEVE” — short poem by Donal O’Meadhra

From their homes stolen lives.
Injustice never new.
Not one crime done nor crime seen.
A sentence served undue.

Witness blind and judge astray.
Trial a kangaroo.
You want a reason to believe?
My friend, I’ll give you two.

Two sons of Craigavon Ireland,
Our voices now are due.
The cry should shout until it cracks
For justice to the two.

It happens time and time again,
Shadows of me and you.
Where once stood four and then the six,
The mirror shows the two.

Together we can make this right.
As one we’ll see it through.
You want a reason to believe?
My friend, I’ll give you two.

Believe poster J4C2

 

The poem is about the incarceration of the “Craigavon Two”, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton.  On the 30th of March 2012 both men were convicted and given life sentences.  They were accused of the fatal shooting of Constable Steven Carroll in Craigavon on the 9th of March 2010.  The evidence was a hotch-potch of questionable material including an “eyewitness” who only came forward a year later after both Republicans had been in jail for a considerable time, a man whose evidence was contested by that of his wife and of his own father.

The case against them was so riddled with inconsistencies and suspect material, alongside new evidence of police interference with witnesses for the Defence, that there were high hopes of both men being cleared and freed when the appeal concluded in October last year.  However, to the shock of many, including a number of Independent TDs (members of the Dáíl, the Irish parliament) and the late Gerry Conlon, their appeal was denied.

The campaign is on-going and supported by a number of organisations and individuals.  It was in support of the Two that Gerry Conlon, formerly of the Guildford Four (and a subject of the film In the Name of the Father), made his last public statement days before he died.

Their campaign website http://justiceforthecraigavontwo.com/we-are-innocent/

“Where once stood four and then the six” in the second-to-last stanza is a reference to the Guildford Four and to the Birmingham Six, ten people (all Irish save one) who in 1974 were wrongly convicted of bombings in Britain and were finally cleared only fifteen and sixteen years later.  Also wrongly convicted were the Maguire Seven (which included Giuseppe Conlon, Gerry’s father, and teenagers) and Judith Ward (a woman who was mentally ill at the time).

RANT FOR MARGARETTA

RANT FOR MARGARETTA

(click on the title immediately above to access the video)
(A mobile-friendly version is also available, click on the author’s name below the video and the other version should show).

RAP POEM, VIDEO IMAGES WITH MUSIC IN PROTEST AT THE 3-MONTH INCARCERATION OF MARGARETTA D’ARCY, 79 YEAR-OLD ACTIVIST AND DRAMATIST, BECAUSE OF HER PROTESTS AGAINST THE CONTINUING USE OF SHANNON AIRPORT BY THE US MILITARY IN COLLUSION WITH SUCCESSIVE IRISH GOVERNMENT IN VIOLATION OF OUR NEUTRAL STATUS.

RANT FOR MARGARETTA

Diarmuid Breatnach

Forgive my confusion …

I was under the illusion …

or was it a delusion?

That we are a democracy,

not an autocracy

nor yet a plutocracy ….

That we citizens had the right

to decide whether a war to fight;

That we could choose with whom to ally …

Or was that all a cruel lie?

Listen now to the warning bell,

an Irish citizen in a prison cell;

Put there for taking a stand

against murder in foreign lands.

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

Well yes, it was all a delusion

and our government’s in murder collusion;

To murder planes turns a blind eye,

making accomplices of you and I!

Because the US is a superpower,

before them are we supposed to cower?

Are we to turn our hearts to stone,

to ignore the unmanned murder drones?

Surely not! Margaretta stands not alone —

we are of her blood and of her bone!

Listen now to the warning bell,

an Irish citizen in a prison cell;

Put there for taking a stand

against murder in foreign lands.

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

Our rulers fumble in a greasy till,

They never cared and never will:

Little women and little men,

Hucksters and middle men —

Believe me they don’t dither

to sell us out to the highest bidder!

Ach seo hé an scéal,

this is the story:
Ní chuirfidh muid fáilte

roimh – dúnmharthóirí!

Listen now to the warning bell,

an Irish citizen in a prison cell;

Put there for taking a stand

against murder in foreign lands.

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

Drone in the sky: someone’s crying …

Drone in the sky: someone’s dying …

If we allow it then we share the blame

so say we all: NOT IN OUR NAME!

Visitors are welcome from any land

but don’t come here with bloody hands;

Using Shannon as a staging post,

making our land a murder host —

we won’t pretend that we don’t know —

like Margaretta, we’re saying “NO!”

Listen now to the warning bell,

an Irish citizen in a prison cell;

Put there for taking a stand

against murder in foreign lands.

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!

FREE MARGARETTA D’ARCY! FREE HER NOW!