26 April 2006
A day like today, 69 years ago the Spanish fascists with the Nazis help bombed Gernika, the Basque liberties symbol town. Hundreds were killed and thousands wounded as a consequence of the first massive air bomb attack against civilians in Human history.
69 years later and despite ETA's cease fire the conflict is still very alive. This is the last couple of days' picture:
Two well known young political activists have been arrested and badly tortured, demonstrations attacked by the police, Spanish Guardia Civil (mixture of army and police) armed members threatened and provoked the population in bars in Leitza, the 18/98 show trial against 60 political activists is in its sixth month while one of the activists dies from a heart attack shortly before his appearance in court, the Basque autonomous police threatened and pointed with guns to two Segi activists, the Spanish Congress rejected a motion against the incommunicado period and protected torture, the Basque autonomous parliament rejected a motion in favor of Political Status for the political prisoners, Batasuna denounces Zapatero's government for taking the wrong way to solve the conflict and add that there are not democratic conditions to start with a conflict resolution process...
Jokin Gorostidi (Deba 1944) died yesterday after a heart attack. His life is been an example of compromise, dignity and struggle for the Basque Country's freedom. He became involved in workers struggles as a trade unionist and soon joined ETA.
He got two death penalties in 1970 during the famous Burgos Trial. He spent years in prison and after Franco died he was deported to Brussels. He came back and along with others funded Herri Batasuna. In 1980 he survived an attack from the French Police while he was meeting ETA leadership members in a bid to open negotiations with the Spanish state. He would be part of the interlocutor of the Left Abertzale for years. In the 90's he helped Basque political refugees and deportees in Africa and America and when he cae back from one of this trips he fell sick and was in coma for 55 days.
In 2000 he was arrested once again accused of being member of Xaki, the pro-independence movement's international department. He was released with a 30.000 Â bail. Therefore he was being judged within the 18/98 show-trial in Madrid along with another 60 activists and had appear in court last Monday. The prosecutor asked 15 years for him. In 2003 was arrested and charged with helping ETA with the revolutionary tax and released with a 18.000 Â bail.
He had a heart attack when going home after meeting his lawyer discuss about last Monday's appearance in court. He was in coma since then. Forty years of struggle which, as Batasuna's leadership highlighted yesterday, brought the Basque Country to the current political situation of real freedom's hope.
25 April 2006
The Irish Basque Committees present Korrontzi Irish Tour'06:
Korrontzi pays hommage to the life an traditional folk tunes of the trikitilari (Basque diatonic accordion player)of Bizkaia province.
The gig will be prefaced with a fifteen minutes english subtitled short film on these old trikitilaris’ life.
Korrontzi was an old trikitilari’s nickname and this performance is based on him and lots others’ life-style. The aim is to show new generations their heritage and remind the elder people of the past.
Korrontzi’s musicians are wellknown in the Basque Country because of their past projects and involment in Basque culture and traditional music.
Although trikitixa (small Basque diatonic acordeon) is the base of the band there are also drums, guitars, mandolins, whistles and other traditional Basque instruments.
Korrontzi’s first album will be launched on march and it will be distributed in Europe, USA and Japan.
Korrontzi’s Irish Tour 2006
26th of April at An Cruiscin Lan, Cork
27th of April at Cobblestone, Dublin
28th of April at Cultúrlann, Belfast
29th of April at Silver Bridge social club (road from Newry to Crossmaglen) South Armagh
20 April 2006
More than 20.000 pro-independence and revolutionary young people took part in Gazte Topagunea'06 (Youth Encounter'06)in Etxarri during four days in Easter. A huge success which shows once again the strength of the Basque revolutionary youth movement. Topagunea is a unique political reivindicative youth festival in Europe and is been organized every two years since 1996.
This year's slogan was "Tipi-tapa independentzian topa!" (Step by step meet in independence!) meaning the importance of building independence from today. During four days Etxarri was a free Basque youth Country. Basque youth organized, debating, living together, struggling, enjoying, learning, getting stronger, feeling independence...
Work shops, seminars, debates, popular schools, gigs, excursions, markets...it would be impossible to resume what Topagunea was for four days.
Now is time to put in practice all this strength and lessons in all the country.
Congratulations Basque revolutionary youth!
18 April 2006
Hundreds of celebrations and political meetings happened during this year's Aberri Eguna-Homeland Day. This National Day is been celebrated since 1931 and was inspired on the Easter Rising of Easter Sunday 1916 in Éire.
Udalbiltza, the Basque national institution, called the Basque people to gather at City and Town Halls to reivindicate the Basque national rights and meetings took place in more than one hundred towns in the seven provinces.
In Irunea, the historical Basque capital, this act was banned by the Spanish governor.
Celebrations were held in far places like Australia, Argentina or China for example by the Basque Diaspora.
10 April 2006
After last year's big success the Belfast Basque Committee is organizing the third Irish Basque Night on Good Friday, 14th of April in Conway Mill, Falls Road.
There will be music, projections, T-shirts, raffles, food and patxaran and obviously a great craic.
Caoimhín Mac Giolla Catháin, famous Bréag Irish Reggae band leader and good friend of Basques will be playing acoustic covers.
DJ Caveman or Bigger Boss, well known in Belfast as Runnin Riotsdrummerr and DJ, will be playing the best of ska and reggae.
DJ One Shot,comingg from Derry, will be playing dub, drum and bass and chill out with his unique style and fun.
Everybody is more thanwelcomee to this solidarity event with the Basque Country. Now, more than ever economic solidarity is really needed as a good way to support the democratic process.
Ahotsak ("Voices")will boost women's presence in the conflict resolution process. 200 women, activists of all political parties and trade unions in the Basque Country (except the right wing pro-spanish and pro-french parties)gathered in Donostia last Saturday to launch this new platform and their fundation petition where they defend a democratic resolution, they claim the women's role as active agents for peace and they intend to make sure the process will go ahead to the end.
They follow other conflicts' women's example like South Africa, Palestine or Ireland.
After one week in prison Otegi (Batasuna's spokeman) was released last Friday. Along with him were realest Petrikorena (Batasuna's press officer)and Olano (Askatasuna's spokeman)who spent three weeks behind bars. All together they had to pay a 650.000 euro bail which is been said to be a "counter-revolutionary tax" against the pro-independence movement.
Most of the Basque political parties and trade unions expressed their concerns around this incarceration of members of the Left-wing Abertzale as become an obstacle in the new political situation in the Basque Country.
Yesterday more than 5.000 people gathered in Donostia to denounce these attacks and the banning of a Batasuna's public political meeting to be hold in this city in this very same day. Batasuna was to launch their alternative for radical change in the Basque Country after the party's debate.
3 April 2006
Last Saturday's was the biggest demonstration of the last decade in the Basque Country. More than 80.000 people gathered in Bilbo behind the "It's resolution time. Basque Country. Decision. Agreement." banner.
As Batasuna stated today now there are conditions to open a process and set a negotiation table with the Basque political parties.