12 November 2009

Weekend celebrations show the strength of Basque social movement.

Last Saturday thousands of young people took over the streets of Arrasate to celebrate the National Student’s Day. The day of events was organised by Ikasle Abertzaleak/Nationalist Students, the largest student organisation in the Basque Country with local groups in secondary schools and universities.

This year's event, organised under the slogan “Drawing the future”, saw debates during the morning around the capitalist and patriarchal system’s effects in education. In the afternoon there was lunch and a demonstration followed. At the end of it speakers from the Basque Country, the Catalan Countries and Ireland spoke about their different student struggles. The day ended with a music festival.

Also on Saturday the Basque international solidarity organization Askapena/Liberation organised its annual Internationalist Day. 300 people gathered in Altsasu for a day packed with events, with a special focus on solidarity with Palestine and the boycott campaign against Israel.

Last weekend also marked the 30th anniversary of the creation of Euskal Herrian Euskaraz/In the Basque Country in Basque. For the last three decades this grassroots organisation has been working hard in defence of, and to promote, the Basque language.

In a press conference they announced many events will be organised in coming months to celebrate the anniversary but more importantly to strengthen the organisation and the two fundamental axes of their work: denouncing and defending the movement against the attacks and the development of a strategy that will lead to a Basque Country that will live in Basque.

Last Saturday more than 1,000 members of the largest trade union Basque Workers Solidarity/ELA gathered in the south of Navarre to pay tribute to the more than 3,000 people executed by the Spanish fascist forces during the 1936-39 war in this Basque province. Among the executed were socialists, anarchists, communists, nationalists...and many ELA members also. This tribute is part of a broader process of recovering the historical memory set in place by many different grassroots organisations created over the past few years across the Basque Country.

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