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Hate, Rage and Lies: Against Media Manipulation in Spain

Members of ZSP would like to briefly reply to the smear campaign waged by a marginal anarchist zine entitled „Amor y Rabia” and the magazine "Prisma" published by the Amor y Rabia group from Valladolid.* Outrageously, Amor y Rabia usurps the right to write about matters claiming to express the „perception of the CNT”, without being any mandated organ of that Federation. The article being spread (among other places on the ALB forum in Spain) is an attack on the IWA, but in particular, contains lies, aimed against the workers of our Federation and our region.

The manipulative „Amor y Rabia” labels our Federation (ZSP) a „miniscule organization” claiming we are many times fewer than we are in reality. In fact, this media de manipulation singles out the unions of Eastern Europe as examples of „pseudounions”, each time lowering their actual membership to support their narrative. Other member Sections of the IWA are not singled out or criticized, despite the fact that they are all smaller than we. Not that we care to be dragged into such stupid games and compare ourselves to others, but it is clear that the false information is aimed at particularly our union and comrades from Eastern Europe. In our opinion, this shows an intense prejudice towards workers from our region, one unfortunately displayed on more than one occasion. That such prejudices appear in such a manner is a clear assault to the principles of internationalism and mimic the tactics of nationalists and labor protectionists.

Workers from our organization have won strikes, conducted many successful campaigns and even won important policy changes throughout its ten-year history. What we do is easy enough to find out, even if not everything gets translated into Spanish or English. For some marginal group to comment on workers in struggle in such a way is clearly grotesque and ignorant – at best. At worst, and what unfortunately seems likely, this political clique is acting deliberately to discredit workers in other countries for sectarian reasons. For those fighting for their rights as workers and building a radical union alternative, such attacks act to further discredit those who pretend to be part of a libertarian workers movement in Spain.

We point out that parts of the text also repeat lies on other topics and that the text contains a number of other historical and factual mistakes. The magazine presents an interesting „map” supposedly representing the IWA. However the author of the map is not even aware of which unions are in the International! For example, neighbouring France is completely misrepresented, showing that the unknown authors are not even aware of who is federated with them in the next country! Such poor basic knowledge is a huge problem and, unfortunately, this seems to be widespread in that country.

What's more, the unknown author (s), writing as if in the name of the CNT, laments typically about not having enough votes in the IWA. They want votes, but they do not want to take the time to even know basic things, including who is federated in it!

To think critically about bourgeois democracy seems to be difficult for some but anarchist thought has always had different approaches to this matter. While we here tend towards discussion and finding common positions, we see the power of numbers being pushed by some people. However, this is in fact not as important as the merit of the discussion and, for it to have merit, we recognize the need of people to know about the topics they are discussing. Adequate discussion cannot be held in an atmosphere of misinformation and manipulation, as promoted by Amor y Rabia and numerous individuals throughout Spain.

Instead of discussing how workers can act together to achieve mutual goals, again we are only offered nonsense and ignorance from those who think they will lead the working class to salvation.

Despite the fact that records about our activity and membership are available to all in the IWA, it seems that some members of the CNT either are not given access (by their own secretaries) or just choose to lie. The conclusions we can draw is that those in the controlling positions have, for some time, failed to correct information on purpose, to allow misinformation to flourish to justify their change of political course. In addition, at least one key report from us was not distributed to CNT members. Such acts of censorship and misinformation do not make for comrades who are aware of things and can make informed decisions. They make for groups of misinformed people with incorrect information demanding more votes and not even listen ing to other people – because they think they don't have to.

Such are the methods that have replaced discussion and have caused so many problems.

We also roundly condemns the haters who have gathered around forums such as ALB, which has become a source of deliberate misinformation on the level of a professional police operation. The amount of nonsense written is ridiculous and it stands as a testiment to the extremely poor level of knowledge of the so-called libertarian movement in Spain. On this forum you find a number of „people” giving false information all the time. Most recemtly we can read that our organization is 5 people and that we pay to the lWA 100 euros a year and spend 1000 euros on photocopies. Of course this information is complete nonsense, a lie made up by those who have more hate than brains. Again, all information is sent to the Sections of the lWA, but it seems that this is irrelevant. Self-styled „libertarians” seem to prefer to create hate campaigns based on lies... and then complain about „bad relations”, when these practices have generated all the bad relations with us.

No doubt those who look back critically at the past will be joined by those in the future who will assess this witch hunt for what it was and condemn its use of manipulation to manufacture consent.

* We see that this article was orginally published in a magazine called Prisma, presumably published by the same people, the politics of which are so confused that the issue in question features an article by Nikolai Azarov on Maidan!