Basque Info 14&21/04/09
-Thousands upon thousands of people claim national unity.
A huge demonstration crossed the artificial border between the southern and northern Basque Country on Aberri Eguna/Homeland’s Day on Easter Sunday. Nationalists of different backgrounds responded to the call from the National Debate Forum.
Most of Basque nationalist parties and trade unions had previously showed their support for the national demonstration which had the slogan of “Time for change, time for sovereignty. We are a nation, the seven (provinces), one.”
Speakers called for a united strategy between all nationalist organizations and highlighted the importance of the day’s rally in that way.
-ETA’s Homeland’s Day’s statement.
In a statement released on Aberri Eguna/Homeland’s Day ETA said that the Basque National Liberation Movement is ready to agree with other Basque democratic parties a commitment and a strategy for political change and democratic solution to the conflict.
The political change must be based on the right of national self-determination. ETA added that while a thick wall against repression is not built and clear commitments to achieve a democratic framework do not exist, the circumstances are not right for anyone to ask them to stop the armed struggle. According to ETA is time to go from words to actions.
On the same statement ETA declares the newly agreed pro-Spanish western Basque government a primary target.
-Spanish and French repression.
Ekaitz Sirvent was arrested on the 11th of April in a train station in Paris, Itxaso Legorburu was arrested on the 15th in the south of France, while another activist escaped. A huge police operation was launched to capture him but failed.
Another three activists were arrested last Saturday in northern Catalonia by the French police who were helped by Spanish police. Immediately afterwards, another 6 people were arrested in the Basque Country. All of them have been accused of being members of ETA.
Information about plans to attack the Spanish king or other top Spanish authorities with missiles by ETA emerged in the past few days after documents were translated.
-Youth march breaks impossed border.
For three days over Easter 2,000 Basque pro-independence young people hiked across the Pyrenees with the slogan “Join the independence”.
They had to confront extreme weather conditions such as wind, rain, snow and hail, but they finally arrived to Donibane-Garazi/St Jean de Pied-de-Port where different events such a massive dinner, rally and music festival were organised.
Youth left organizations from across Europe like Ógra Shinn Féin and South Africa took part in an International Youth Meeting organised on the previous days.
-20 years of dispersal policy against prisoners and relatives.
The Basque political prisoners’ relatives’ association Etxerat organised dozens of events across the country during last week to denounce the consequences of dispersal policy against their love ones.
20 years ago the Spanish government began to scatter Basque political prisoner all around the peninsula. The move was followed by the French government soon after.
Nowadays 765 Basque political prisoners are dispersed in 85 prisons in France and Spain. This cruel policy force their relatives and friends to have to travel every weekend hundreds of miles for a 40 minutes visit. 16 relatives and friends have been killed in road accidents on their way to visits, 267 serious accidents and hundreds of injured people and millions of euros spent are some of the shocking statistics.
-Successful 6th Irish Basque Night.
200 people packed the Conway Mill events hall last Good Friday in the 6th Irish Basque Night. The fundraising and solidarity night was full of music with Eric Noon & The Future Gypsies and DJ Red Rasta Sound System, speeches and a very emotional video recorded by Basque political activist Inaki de Juana who is fighting extradition in Belfast and couldn’t attend due to the bail conditions.
The organisers, the Belfast Basque Solidarity Committee wants to thank all who attended for their help and support throughout the night.
-Bob Doyle remembered in the Basque Country.
100 people filled the Paddy Shorts pub in Gasteiz/Vitoria last Saturday to pay tribute to the last Irish member of the International Brigades who died recently. There were speeches, live Irish music and tributes until several undercover Spanish policemen armed with guns and wearing balaclavas entered the bar and kidnapped two people. Those present, overcoming the initial shock, attacked the Spanish police cars and smashed some windows. Following the attack, it later emerged that the arrests were linked to a broader police operation against ETA.