12 December 2006

BASQUE SOLIDARITY PROTESTS IN DUBLIN



A Basque solidarity rally was hold in Dublin last Sunday.It lasted about 1.5 hours, near Stephen's Green end of Grafton St, Sunday 10th. It started with Txalaparta performance, followed by Zanpantzar performance, 10 men in traditional costume, with another as the bear, led by a woman carrying the Basque flag. Supporters gathered around (40-50 people) and cheered them on. Supporters displayed a banner with the slogan "SELF-DETERMINATION FOR THE BASQUE COUNTRY". As well as Basque and Irish supporters, there were also Catalans in attendance, who displayed their own banner: "CATALONIA IS NOT SPAIN"Many passers-by, both Irish and non-Irish (tourists and foreign workers), stopped to listen and watch, or to ask questions of supporters.

Over 800 leaflets were given out explaining the cultural background to the performances and the historical and political background to the Basque struggle for self-determination.

Many signatures were collected on petitions in favour of the involvement of Spanish and French States in a process of talks and negotiations accepting the rights of all the Basques to decide their own future as the key to the resolution of the conflict.During the afternoon, some songs were sung and slogans shouted, in between performances of Zanpantzar and Txalaparta.

At the end of the afternoon, Germà Martin, speaking in Basque and in Catalan, thanked the performers and the supporters for their attendance, asked for continued support for the Dublin Basque Committee. He was followed by Diarmuid Breatnach, speaking in Irish and then in English, who said the same things and concluded with "Gora Euskadi" and "Visca Catalunya". Some supporters and Txalaparta performers then went into the Temple Bar area and put on another performance there.

Many of the supporters and performers met later that evening in a bar and enjoyed an evening of music and comradeship. The Dublin Irish Basque Committee is in the process of reorganising itself and this performance was an important first step.

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