30 April 2008


Basque Info 29th of April

Headlines :

- The Basque Autonomous Government tries to silence the pro independence movement.

-Thousands of Basque citizens show support to the movement for Amnesty at the weekend.

-Young people brutally tortured.


- The Basque Autonomous Government tries to silence the pro independence movement.

April 26th was the 30th anniversary of the creation of Herri Batasuna, pro independence Basque political party. To this effect, the Basque pro independence movement organized a rally to remember the day.

But the Basque autonomous government decided to ban the rally before even the Spanish authorities had given the order.

The Basque Spanish police actually attacked the rally and tried to silence a political representative by physically covering his mouth.

Even though historic activists tried to negotiate with the police the demonstration was banned and attacked.

The pro independence movement has accused the Basque government and in particular the Basque Nationalist party of doing the dirty work for the Spanish government. And this, with the only aim of remaining in power.

The pro independence movement has made it very clear that they will not be silenced and that they will keep fighting to resolve the political conflict.

- Thousands of Basque citizens show support to the movement for Amnesty at the weekend.

To protest against the newly started show trial, against activists involved in anti repression work, thousands of people protested at the weekend throughout the Basque Country. They showed their support and solidarity with the activists and lawyers accused in the case.

Protesters highlighted that the accused are being tried for making public the anti democratic measures taken by the Spanish and French states against Basques and for denouncing repression, torture and the dispersal policy inflicted upon prisoners. Protesters made clear that if the accused are guilty of supporting and defending refugees and prisoners, then all protesters are also guilty and will continue to be so until freedom and amnesty have been achieved.

27 Basque activists and lawyers are currently being tried by the Spanish courts for being involved in anti repression work, denouncing torture and supporting and defending Basque political prisoners.

This trial is the third of its kind. The accused have refused to acknowledge the court as the sentence has already been written and they will all be punished and imprisoned.

The trade union LAB has also shown solidarity with the Basque activists accused in this political trial.

LAB has highlighted that repression and criminalisation will only maintain and extend the political conflict in the Basque Country. According to LAB, the Spanish and French states have to listen to the wish of the Basque people in order to resolve the conflict.

- Censorship motions against pro independence mayors fail.

Following the killing of a former Spanish Labour Party councillor by ETA last March, there has been a huge media and political campaign to remove pro independence mayors of their posts in the Basque Country.

The first of these motions to be voted on took place last Friday in Arrasate, the same town where the Spanish councillor had been killed. The media interest was huge and high profile Spanish politicians were present.

But the pro-Spanish parties failed to pass the motion and didn’t manage to get a new Spanish mayor.

While the vote was taking place, hundreds of pro-independence activists protested and supported the mayor outside and inside the town hall. Pro-Spanish politicians left very angry and disapointed.

The same thing happened in Bergara and Hernani.

-5th anniversary of the police operation against Udalbiltza.

Dozens of councillors and mayors gathered last Saturday in Oiartzun to remember the 5th anniversary of the police operation against Udalbiltza. 22 councillors and mayors were arrested and will be judged very soon.

Udalbiltza is the National Assembly of Basque councillors. It has been declared illegal by the Spanish government. Udalbiltza promoted, the national building of the Basque Country and works towards strengthening links between councils. Udabiltza has been the first national institution ever created.

In a press conference, last Saturday, pro-independence councillors and activists showed their commitment to continue building the Basque Country as a nation and to defend its rights.

-“10 days of fear and repression”.

This is how locals described what happened in the Basque towns of Oiartzun and Orereta last week. More than 30 houses were raided and 13 young people arrested. After 5 days incommunicado, all of them denounced psychological and physical torture. One of them had to be taken into hospital. He had tried to cut his veins to end his suffering while arrested. 5 of the 13 arrested have been imprisoned.

Thousands of people took to the streets to protest and were also brutally attacked by the police.

-2 home made bombs are de activated in Bidaxune, North of the Basque Country.

Last Tuesday the French police de activated 2 bombs that had been put in front of a real state agency and in front of the tourist office in the small village of Bidaxune.

These are not the first bombs against real estate agencies. The North of the Basque Country has become a niche for foreign property developers and there has been a protest camping to stop it and to say that the Basque Country is not on sale.

-Candido Saseta, head of the Basque Army is brought back home and buried.

He was killed 71 years ago. He was a legendary figure and Hundreds of pro-independence supporters gathered first in Gernika and then in his hometown of Hondarribia to pay a very emotional tribute to Saseta.

-500 anniversary of Spanish conquest.

Last Friday dozens of well known artists, musicians and writers launched a manifesto to remember the loss of Basque independence five centuries ago.

A series of events will be organized in the next few years up until 2012 to remember that historical date and its consequences nowadays.

2012 will mark the 500 anniversary of the conquest of most of the Kingdom of Navarre, the Basque independent state, by Castilian forces.

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