Basque Info 26/05/10

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  • Thousands march in support of youth activists
  • Another successful Basque language festival
  • Alleged ETA activists arrested
  • “Time to stop playing with prisoners’ lives” say relatives

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Thousands march in support of youth activists

6,500 people demonstrated in Irunea/Pamplona last Saturday against torture and bans on political parties as well as to support the Basque pro-independence youth. The demonstration was supported by many political parties, trade unions and community organisations.

Since the Basque pro-independence youth organisations were banned in 2001 more than 200 youth have been arrested across the Basque Country for their political work. During the police operation last November, 36 youth were arrested and many of them reported having being tortured.

Speakers at the end of the demonstration stated that the Spanish state is not a democratic one. They also stated unequivocally:

“We are pro-independence youth and we want to build the Basque state of the future. That’s why we work hard in our neighbourhoods and towns. Because of that the French and Spanish states brand us as terrorists. But despite that repression we will continue fighting until we get the type of Basque Country we want.”

They also called on the Basque society to build a solid wall of resistance against the attacks on civil and political rights.


Another successful Basque language festival

Despite obstacles put in place by the local pro-Spanish town Mayor, 30,000 people took part at the annual Basque language schools’ festival in Irunea/Pamplona last Sunday.

“Despite all obstacles”, the slogan chosen for this occasion, reflected the daily problems these schools have to face due to the policies of the Spanish unionist regional government.

The day-long festival had activities for all: food, workshops, live music, games, etc.

The festival has been growing in support over the past 15 years and raises much-needed funds for Basque-language public schools in the province of Navarre.


Alleged ETA activists arrested

Five people were arrested last Thursday near Baiona/Bayonne (northern Basque Country) by the French police.

Three of them were armed and according to the Spanish authorities one of them could be one of the ETA’s top men. The Spanish Interior Minister has been repeatedly branding all of the arrested over the past year with the same title.

Four of them were eventually confined to jail yesterday.

There were protests against the arrests over the weekend across the Basque Country.

“Time to stop playing with prisoners’ lives” say relatives.

The hard conditions Basque prisoners suffer in jail were denounced by their relatives at a a press conference last week.

Recently four prisoners received beatings, visits are lost on a regular basis due to the refusal to suffer humiliating intimate body searches, prisoners are being constantly transfered from jail to jail, sentences are being extended...

Some prisoners haven’t seen their relatives in many months.

One spokesperson said “The criminal prison policy is a laboratory of repression where they do continous tests.  Solitary confinment, isolation, blackmail and harassment is what we get every day.”

Irish Basque Solidarity Committees