6 December 2010

Basque Info 1/12/10

Basque Info 1/12/10

• New Basque Pro-Independence Left party’s basis presented
• France accepts the European arrest warrant against Aurore Martin, member of Batasuna.

New Basque Pro-Independence Left party’s basis presented

The Basque Pro-Independence Left will soon have an entirely new political formation, designed to accumulate forces to achieve independence and socialism and supported by activity carried out through exclusively political and democratic means. Its first step presented a powerful picture featuring nearly 300 activists in different fields of Basque endeavour.

The Pro-Independence Left took another essential step last Saturday to overcome the current deadlock. They held a press conference to display the political and organizational bases of their new project. They also announced that “soon" they will present the new organization’s. They added an important point: "This application will be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Political Parties Law." They did so after making it clear that they still consider the law "undemocratic", and that it is part of the current reality "of imposition and denial" by the Spanish state which they seek to change with their political initiative.

The two pillars of the project are: an open democratic internal structure and way of working and activity carried out exclusively through peaceful and democratic methods. They stressed that the exclusive commitment to politics "should be firm and unequivocal, not subject to situational factors and tactical variables, and therefore must reject the use of violence or threat of its use for political objectives." On the horizon remain the historical objectives of the Pro-Independence Left: independence and socialism.

This impressive event in Iruñea/Pamplona fixed another objective to the new project of the Pro-Independence Left: that at this historical point it should work for a peaceful scenario, engaging in invigorating a process of dialogue and negotiation to resolve the conflict democratically. Those gathered to support this new project included youth, students, trade unionists, pro-amnesty activists...

Statement of the press conference in English:

France accepts the European arrest warrant against Aurore Martin, member of Batasuna.

In a move against Batasuna, the Pau Court last week gave the green light to a European arrest warrant against Batasuna representative Aurore Martin, on account of her participation in political events in the southern Basque towns of Iruñea/Pamplona and Agurain. The decision, which is not final, amazed her defense counseol, created concerns in the Pro-Independence Left and was rejected by the entire political spectrum of the northern Basque Country where Batasuna remains a legal political party though banned in the Spanish occupied southern Basque Country.

The judicial process initiated by the Spanish government and presented to the French state against Aurore Martin for being a member of Batasuna has taken another step forward. The Pau Court ruled in favour of implementing the arrest warrant. The decision is not final but, if ratified by the Court of Appeal, it would represent a major step by Paris and would constitute a serious precedent. Aurore Martin, 31, as all northern Basques do has "French nationality" and is being prosecuted solely for political activities, such as participation in two acts of the Pro-Independence Left in Iruñea/Pamplona and Agurain. In the process references are made to other appearances in Baiona or Uztaritze (northern Basque Country).

This ruling of the Pau Court has caused a visible political upheaval in the northern Basque Country because everyone understands the possible consequences in the near future. In addition there were many demands, from very different political backgrounds, that the judges reject the Spanish claim outright, which has not happened. Among the reactions must be highlighted that of the the local branch of the mainstream French Socialist Party (Labour). In a press release, they considered the verdict "unacceptable to us as democrats." It adds that it "deplores the proceedings of this court, whose very foundation has been perverted and brings into question the right of defence and individual freedom. It doesn’t reflect the will to fight terrorism as envisaged in the European arrest warrant process, but seeks instead to criminalize democratic political action. "