29 April 2010

Basque Pro-Independence Left calls on ETA and the Spanish government to be constructive

Basque Info 28/04/10

• Basque Pro-Independence Left calls on ETA and the Spanish government to be constructive
• New campaign for northern Basque autonomy launched
• Campaign for civil and political rights gains momentum
• Egunkaria Five thank supporters and warn about new attacks

Basque Pro-Independence Left calls on ETA and the Spanish government to be constructive

Around 200 prominent members of the Basque Pro-Independence Left took part in a press conference last Saturday in Irunea/Pamplona.

In the document launched at the press conference they set the first steps needed to build the democratic process. The document says: “The democratic process needs the people’s pressure in order to make untenable the position of those who want to maintain the current blockade situation and in order to make it impossible any sort of imposition or interference.

The change of political cycle which opens now also refers to the shapes and methods of struggle. The national and social liberation process must be based on exclusively political activity.”

The Basque Pro-Independence Left has asked the Spanish government and ETA to respond the Brussels Declaration in a constructive manner. On the 30th March, 20 international leaders signed a declaration read in Brussels by Brian Currin where they demanded that ETA call a permanent and verifiable cease-fire, while the Spanish government should respond appropriately to permit new political and democratic efforts to advance, differences to be resolved and lasting peace attained.

Basque political parties, trade unions and social movements welcomed the outcome of the press conference as a very positive move towards resolving the conflict.

New campaign for northern Basque autonomy launched

Last Saturday Batera, the umbrella group in favour of a northern Basque autonomy launched a new campaign for the coming years with the objective of achieving the official recognition of the French-occupied Basque Country by 2014.

34,000 people took part in a referendum for Basque autonomy in March which according to the organisers shows there are enough conditions to re-boost the campaign.

The campaign would include four different phases including an inclusive and public debate on the type of autonomy, lobbying the French government and an official referendum and local elections to the new Basque Assembly.

Campaign for civil and political rights gains momentum

Hundreds of people packed the Gernika Theatre last Saturday, the day before the 73rd anniversary of the town’s bombing, at a very colourful and emotional event.

The event was organised by ‘Adierazi EH! / Express BC!’ – a platform which was launched to demand civil and political rights last January.

Citizens affected by the Spanish repression for their work in political parties, local councils, youth organizations, language groups...etc came to the stage to denounce those attacks and to tell the Spanish government they will not be silenced.

Adierazi EH! / Express BC! continues to grow and intends to become an effective people’s wall to stop attacks against the Basque Country.

Egunkaria Five thank supporters and warn about new attacks

Last Sunday morning in the Euskalduna Conference Hall in Bilbao, thousands of people, including political and social representatives, attended an event organised by the Egunkaria Five to thank the support they have received during the seven years of the judiciary process against them.

The process started in 2003 with the closing down of the Basque language newspaper and the arrest, torture and imprisonment of 10 members of the board of directors. Finally five of them sat at the Spanish Special Court last January accused of being members of ETA for setting up the paper. Just two weeks ago all of them were acquitted.

After expressing their gratitude the Egunkaria Five asked for support and solidarity for those indicted in the Udalbiltza case. This case which will be judged soon will sit on the accused bench 22 local councillors for setting up the first Basque national institution made up of local representatives. They are also accused of being members of ETA for doing so.

Dublin Basque Solidarity protest accuses presidency of European Union of repression and torture of Basque political activists and journalists.

That the Presidency of the European Union is currently "in the hands of a repressive and torturing state” was the message clearly declared on the placards of a demonstration on Saturday afternoon (24th May 2010) in O'Connell Street, the main street of Dublin's capital. The demonstration was organised by the Dublin branch of the Irish Basque Solidarity Committees and was protesting against repression and torture of Basques by the Spanish state, who currently hold the Presidency of the EU. Incidents of repression by the Spanish state included the banning of Basque political parties and electoral platforms as well as arrests of their activists, closure of Basque newspapers and radio stations and arrests of journalists, banning of youth organisations and arrests of their activists and cruel treatment of over 500 Basque political prisoners (another 200 are held in France).

The Dublin branch of the IBSC had organised the protest as one of a series of protests against Spain’s current Presidency of the EU while it acts as it does with repression and torture. Another two dates are scheduled for protests in at the Spanish Legation and EU offices in Dublin: Friday 7th May and Friday 4th June, the month that Spain's term of EU Presidency comes to an end. The first is intended also to mark the EU's official day which although on 9th May, is on a Sunday and not during normal office working hours of the Spanish Legation.

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