Basque Info 5&12/05/09
-Undemocratic new government elected.
After the elections of the 1st of March a new government was formed last week in the three western Basque provinces. For the first time since the creation of this autonomy 30 years ago, a pro-Spanish president has been elected. Despite the pro-independence candidates being banned during the elections 100,000 people voted with illegal ballots in support of them. As a result of this the Spanish Labour Party and the conservatives got a mayority in the parliament.
This newly elected government has been branded as undemocratic by the mayority of Basque political parties and trade unions. ETA has declared the government members primary targets.
-An ETA bomb destroyed a communications station in Santander on Tuesday.
-Massive support to the Basque language in the north.
About 60,000 people gathered around Senpere’s lake on Sunday for the annual festival to raise money and support for the Basque language schools in the north of the Basque Country.
40 years ago Seaska, the association of the northern Basque language schools was created. Despite the Basque language not being official in the north they have gone from a 6 pupil’s school to 22 schools and three secondary education centres they currently have, with one third of the overall student population in attendance.
-Stop High Speed Train.
6,000 people rallied in Irunea/Pamplona last Saturday against the construction of the High Speed Train. This very controversial project is seen as a great danger for the Basque Country’s future as it is going to require huge investements and cause extensive damage to the environment. The protesters have asked to stop the works, and to open a social and democratic debate around this issue.
-Internationalist Initiative launched.
A new political platform has been launched to stand in the next European elections. Internationalist Initiative will present candidates across the Spanish state and has already received support from different nation’s pro-independence movements and left-wing organizations. The main candidate is the prestigious playwright Alfonso Sastre.
A criminalization campaign in the Spanish media has already been launched against this platform and pro-Spanish politicians have asked for its banning.
-Basque workers take to the streets on May Day.
The seven Basque provinces capitals saw rallies attended by thousands of workers, students and unemployed people on May Day. The focus of the demonstrations and speeches were on the current capitalist crisis and the general strike called by the left wing and nationalist mayority of trade unions for the 21st of May in the south of the Basque Country.
-More political activists arrested.
Eight well known political activists were arrested by the Spanish police on the 31st of April. All of them had been previously tried in the macro show trial against social and cultural groups called case 18/98. Most of the sentenced by the Spanish National Court are in jail awaiting the Supreme’s Court decission. Most of those arrested free on bail until now. Their solicitors have protested the arrests as they haven’t been convicted yet. The majority of Basque political parties, trade unions and social movements denounced the detentions as political, and asked for the release of all the accused.
-Basque prisoners on dirty protest.
The eight Basque political prisoners in the Algeciras prison (Cadiz, Spain) have been carrying out a dirty protest since the first of May. They are asking for the end of the prison guard’s attacks, for the implementation of the jail’s rules, for dignified living conditions and the end of solitary confinement.
Protests in solidarity with the prisoners have been organised in their home towns.