27 June 2006
More than 3,500 people claimed in the Baiona's streets for the Basque Political Prisoners's rights. One hundred different political, social and union organizations supported the march and well known faces were behind the banner where "Basque Prisoners with all their rights to the Basque Country" slogan could be read.
Previously the French police set heavy check points at the imposed border and closed it acting against the Schengen Agreement and attacking European citizens'rights to move freely within the EU borders.
Several hundreds of people were retained at the check points and as they couldn't transit even through their own country they decided to gather in the close town of Irun where another demonstration was held.
ETA launched last week the second statement in the last few days. The first one was addressed to the French government and its citizens and the second one to the Spanish government and the Spanish people.
ETA pointed that the PSOE's Spanish government have a historical opportunity to resolve the conflict through dialogue and negotiation and to accept the Basque people's wills but in order to achieve this all the repression machinery and strategies must finish.
We have to remember that since the ceasefire declared by ETA three months ago there have been one person arrested every three days, one political event prohibited every five days, three police check points per day and one road accident caused by the dispersal policy of Basque Political Prisoners every nine days. Repression has clearly increased.
Last Friday thousands of people gathered in more than 60 towns and cities all around the Basque Country to protest against the last police razzia (pictured is the Irunea's one).
20 June 2006
13 people have been arrested in a Spanish and French police operation in the early hours of the morning today. The police accuse them of being part of the revolutionary tax net of ETA. The arrested are: Angel Iturbe Abasolo (53 years old), Julen Madariaga Agirre (73), José Antonio Cau Aldalur (62), Cristina Larrañaga Arando (51), Eloy Uriarte Díaz de Gereñu (64), Izaskun Gantxegi Arruti (61), José Ramón Badiola Zabaleta (48), Joseba Elosua Urbieta (71), José Carmelo Lukin Bergara (31), Ramon Sagarzazu Olazagirre (69), Jean Pierre Harocarene Kamio (42) and Iñaki Aristizabal Iriarte (59).
Batasuna denounced that this is a clear and direct attack against the process and the peace hope. Otegi in a press conference this morning said this operation is been politically motivated and asked the Spanish prime minister Zapatero how does this police operation help the process. Otegi added that the Spanish government has a problem not with the Left Abertzale but with a whole nation and these kind of political-police operations can't hide it.
19 June 2006
ETA launched a new statement showing their will of a democratic resolution to the political conflict with the French state. ETA denounces that the French state is being oppressing Basques specially since the 1789 Revolution and that still nowadays the Basque Country and the Basque language are not recognized by France. ETA points that the French state keeps the three Basque provinces of Lapurdi, Baxe Nafarroa and Zuberoa prisoners by force but states that thanks to the Basque people's struggle the will for freedom is still alive and getting stronger from year to year.
ETA says that it's time now to end with the traditional French contempt towards Basques and give the word and the decision about their future to Basque people.
The French snub was once again showed as they answered to ETA's statement through their Foreign Office as this was a foreign affair. The French state is killing the North of the Basque Country by turning it into a holidays resort for retired French rich people, denying and attacking the Basque language, forcing youth to emigrate to get a job or education, repressing peaceful protests and people created own institutions...
The French state is as involved in the political conflict as the Spanish state so both must be involved in the political resolution by giving the Basque people on its whole the right to decide their future.
14 June 2006
-Last Tuesday Gerry Adams visited the Basque Country invited by Batasuna and expressed the total support of Sinn Fein to the Left Abertzale. He praised the commitment of Batasuna and ETA activists to achieve this historical momentum. He traveled to Madrid and Barcelona aswell to support and defend the Basque process. Martin McGuinness is expected to do the same this week.
-Rajoi, Spanish conservative PP's leader broke relations with Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero because of his aims to meet Batasuna.
-On Wednesday an incredible situation happened when the Spanish police stopped and banned a Batasuna's press conference in Irunea (Pamplona) where they were launching a campaign to boost the process in Nafarroa (Navarre). Barrena, Batasuna's spokeman said that it is difficult to understand such situations. Previously 300 Left Abertzale Navarrese councilors gathered to state their position on Nafarroa's importance in the democratic process and showed the commitment to accept whatever the people in Nafarroa will decide about their future and asked the unionist parties to do the same.
-On Friday Batasuna made public that they already sent a calendar and scheme to achieve a pre-agreement to set the parties' table of negotiations.
-Thousands of people gathered in Donostia, Irunea, Gasteiz and Bilbo to demand the the resolution table's setting.
-The 60 political, social and union activists being judged in the 18/98 show trial in Madrid denounced that after seven months the consequences are terrible and demanded once again the end of this process. During these sevem months they had to travel to Madrid 23 times, did 23.000 kilometers and had three road accidents. One of them died during the trial of heart attack and three fell very ill.They have already done 30 years in prison among all of them and everyone has to confront every month expenses of 3,000 euro plus th 4,393,000 euro they paid on bails. They thanked the Basque people who through different fundraising events collected 210,000 euro to support them.
-On Saturday hundreds of people protested in Gasteiz against the 18/98 show trial.
-Thousands of people signed a petition to demand a referendum on a Basque Institution in the North. This demand is been rejected by French governments once and again despite the majority position of northern Basques to have their own province and recognition of the existence of the Basque Country. This new campaign aims to collect 46,000 signatures and call the referendum. This would be a first step for re-unification of the Basque Country.
-Hundreds of councilors gathered in Lizarra despite the check points set by more than 100 of the Spanish Guardia Civil (military police body)commemorateate the 75th anniversary of the historic 1931's Basque Councils Assembly that demanded an autonomy statute for the four provinces in the south. This event was called by Udalbiltza (the only national Basque Institution)as part of the campaign to relaunch it.
The Irish Basque Committees organized during the last week Berri Txarrak's first Irish Tour. The Basque band, awarded as the Best live, best album and best group 2005, were delighted with the warm welcome given by the Irish public. More than 500 people gathered in the Dublin, Derry, Belfast, Galway and Cork gigs. This is just a first step for Basque rock bands in Ireland as themselves and the Committees pointed out.
This is just another campaign lunched by the Irish Basque Committees in a bid to highlight the struggle for freedom in the Basque Country and the great answer and acceptance received seems to be a huge boost for another tour in coming years.
Thank you very much to everybody involved in this Tour and specially go raibh mile maith agaibh go Berri Txarrak (see them "striking" in Cork at the picture).
You can have more information on Berri Txarrak at www.berritxarrak.net. They'll be touring Europe in August and September with famous hardcore Chicago rockers Rise Against. Unfortunately they won't be in Ireland. We are looking to seeing them next year.