BASQUE INFO 25/11/08
-The left pro-independence movement calls for a real political transition.
2,500 people demonstrated in Bilbao last Thursday on the 24th and 19th anniversary of the killings of Basque pro-independence movement leaders Santi Brouard and Josu Muguruza at the hands of Spanish death squads.
At the end of the rally one of the spokespersons spoke of the need of a new democratic framework based in the right of self-determination, reunification and amnesty for all political prisoners.
He added: “Those who killed our comrades, along with the almost 30 year-old Spanish constitution haven’t been able to fulfil their objectives of assimilating the Basque Country and destroying the pro-independence movement. They haven’t been able, thanks to the struggle of the pro-independence movement in defence of the Basque Country and its citizens’ rights.”
100 people attended a similar commemoration in Barcelona.
-Hundreds protest against Spanish king’s visit.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Euskalduna Congress Palace in Bilbao last Wednesday for a protest organized by the left pro-independence trade union LAB. They carried a banner which called the employers “the kings of thieves” and demanded the right to national self-determination. Inside the building, authorities, business men, pro-Spanish politicians and trade unionists gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Basque Employers Association, chaired by the king of Spain.
Last Thursday ETA destroyed a TV and communications centre in Bilbao. It’s understood the centre was being used by the police.
-Solidarity with Basque political prisoners.
Around 30 towns across the Basque Country saw the usual Friday’s vigils on support of the 755 Basque political prisoners. The largest protest approximately 384 people gathered in Gasteiz. Special thoughts were given to the ill prisoners who, under Spanish law, should be released.
Three of them were recently released but it is imposed that they are under curfew in their homes and that they can’t attend political events.
Prisoners in the Spanish jails of Soto del Real and Aranjuez in Madrid are holding protests such as remaining locked up in their cells and picketing against isolation and hard conditions of life.
-Spanish judiciary on the spot in Inaki de Juana’s case.
Next Friday 28th of November former Basque political prisoner and hunger striker Inaki de Juana will appear in Belfast Courts to hear the judge’s decision on his situation. A Spanish judge is trying to find ways to get this Basque citizen extradited. After the Belfast judge’s requests to clarify the accusations the Spanish judge turned to the so called “victims of terrorism associations” to ask them for help to find some kind of evidence to get the extradition.
The whole case, primarily based on Spanish revenge against Inaki de Juana, has been built around a letter allegedly written by the ex-prisoner and read at his welcome party, where the most “threatening” line says “keep onwards”.
-Demonstration asks for offical recognition of Basque language.
Confronting cold, wind and rain more than 5,000 people took to the streets of the Basque capital Irunea/Pamplona to ask the local Navarrese government to make Basque language official in all parts of the province of Navarre. The Basque language is official along with Spanish in some parts of the Basque Country but Basque speakers don’t have the same rights in other parts like the south of Navarre and the northern provinces.
-Student movement from strength to strength.
Last Saturday 4,000 young people celebrated with discussions, a dinner and concerts, the 20th anniversary of the Basque pro-independence student organization Ikasle Abertzaleak (Nationalist Students). Ikasle Abertzaleak is the largest student organization in the Basque Country. It’s organized in schools and universities and fights for a Basque National Education system which will teach Basque contents in Basque language.
-Harassment against youth continues.
Three young people were arrested for putting up Basque youth organization Segi’s posters over the weekend. The Spanish-Basque police charged them with “collaboration with armed organization”.