7 January 2010
Huge response to the Spanish repressive strategy
44,000 people demonstrated in Bilbao last Saturday in support of the Basque political prisoners in the largest demonstration of the last years in the Basque Country. The demonstration had been previously organised by the prisoners' relatives and then banned by the Spanish authorities just two days before. Immediately five political parties reacted and organised the mentioned one. The slogan chosen for the demonstration was “Basque prisoners to the Basque Country”.
The Spanish authorities’ attempts to hide the broad support that slogan has among Basques failed completely.
The unprecedented reaction shown by the five political parties was also seen by many as proof of the existence of conditions to build a broad pro-independence front.
Meanwhile, dozens of visits were lost due to the new search measures implemented by the Spanish authorities before jail visits. The prisoners’ relatives and the prisoners themselves are carrying out numerous protests to confront this situation.
Former Basque political prisoner Patxi Gomez, who spent 20 years in jail and was released just a few months ago, has seen his sentence extended by the Spanish Supreme Court and will have to go back to jail. This is part of the Spanish strategy of recent years to keep Basque prisoners in jail for longer terms than those imposed in their sentences. Dozens of them have seen how the day they were due to be freed by law has been postponed for many more years bringing the repressive situation to cruel terms.