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Press release by Esquerda Anticapitalista Galicia on the rail accident at Compostella

Tuesday 30 July 2013, by Esquerda Anticapitalista Galicia

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The shocking train accident in Compostella has left 78 dead and dozens wounded. Esquerda Anticapitalista Galicia wishes to express its full solidarity with the families and the wounded in these hours which are so difficult for the Galician people and other nationalities. Pain and suffering in the face of death cannot be attenuated with words. The only thing we can do is to respect the dead, care for the wounded and support the families.

This respect marks precisely the limit between that which is the object of public debate and that which is not. For us, the personal side, the manner and expressions of pain of the persons directly or indirectly affected by the tragedy remain outside of public debate. We believe that those who seek to highlight the pain, the personal histories and the familial tragedies are those who do not recognize the limits of ethics. Pain should not be commodified under any pretext.

We also express our rejection of the criminalisation and public condemnation made “a priori” of the train driver. We wish his responsibilities to be outlined with impartiality. We suspect that the fact that he has been arrested so quickly has something to do with the possible contracts for the delivery of AVE trains to Brazil, as the newspaper “El Pais” has claimed. If finally it is established that the accident was due to technical cause, the possibility of the contracts will be lost. If it is established that the cause is human error, it is probable that the contracts will go ahead. Independently of what happens, we do not accept the demagogic discourse which attributes all the liability for the tragedy to the worker. Why did this train not have the traffic management systems required in high speed trains installed? In any case we demand an investigation on the political responsibilities: we know that the worker has committed an error he will pay for it; those at the bottom always pay for their errors in this system. But we wish to say very clearly that for us any deaths brought about by austerity or the neoliberal policies which drain the public resources to increase private profits are also criminal deaths.

Finally, we wish to salute the fantastic generosity and popular solidarity of the Galician people. The health workers (among them the unemployed), the firefighters, the psychologists (often acting without payment), who have shown the superiority of the public and its essential social service over the private. The politicians and businessmen involved in the corruption trials should learn something from it. We see ever more clearly who should be made to pay.

For the thousands of Galician citizens who have helped through giving blood, it is clear that their spirits were with the victims. We want the tragedy to be clarified and of course we hope for the rapid recovery of the wounded, and we express our solidarity with the families of those who have died.

Saturday 27 July 2013