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Antrim - Event Notice
Saturday February 23 2008
Belfast Basque solidarity picket line
rights, freedoms and repression |
Wednesday February 13, 2008 11:30 by Belfast Basque Committee
Hard times in the Basque Country. They need our support!!
23rd February 2pm picket line at Cultúrlann, Falls Road, Belfast.
Last year once again, the Spanish government destroyed all hopes of resolving the conflict between the Basque Country and the French and Spanish States.
During the negotiations:
- the majority of pro-independence organisations continued to be banned.
- Several media were closed down.
- 40 pro-independence activists were called to appear before court due to their political or social activities.
- 50 political events of the pro-independence movement were banned.
- 25 demonstrations were brutally attacked.
- 200 militants were sentenced for their activities before the negotiation period.
- 700 check points were detected on the roads.
- The Spanish army carried out operations in 30 towns in the south of the Basque Country.
- 500 people were identified for so called propaganda activities.
- Dozens of people were fined for participating or requesting permission to organise political events.
- The Spanish government increased the maximum penalty for “terrorism acts” to 40 years, ten additional years.
- Political prisoner Iñaki de Juana went on hunger strike for 100 days to protest against the fact that he had been sentenced to 3 additional years for writing an opinion article.
- Pro-independence Basque citizens denounced being tortured.
- The arrest of ETA volunteers continued…
Despite their maintaining the truce his, the pro-independence movement remained at the negotiating table until the Spanish government withdrew leaving the pro-independence movement alone at the table.
Since the end of the negotiations:
- the number of political prisoners has been increased by 120 people.
- There are currently 700 political prisoners (out of the Basque Country’s population of under 3 million inhabitants).
- 42 people have been imprisoned for their social and political activities.
- New trials are approaching: Udabiltza the association of elected representatives, the anti-repressive group Askatasuna, the political party Batasuna, whose executive is currently in prison. There will be more illegalisations, torture has increased with detainees ending up in hospital with serious injuries and with disturbing rape allegations while in police hands.
The intent is clear: the total intimidation and legal destruction of the pro-independence left movement and of its social and political support.
The pro-independence movement continues to defend the same proposal as during the negotiations :
- A statute of autonomy for the four Basque provinces under Spanish rule including the right to self-determination.
- A statute of autonomy also for the three provinces which are under French administration with a framework that gives the opportunity to develop all political projects.
These are hard times for the Basque Country. We are calling on international solidarity to mobilise, to denounce the denial of political and social rights and to support the right of the Basque Country to self-determination.
23rd February International Day of Solidarity with the Basque Country
Derry: 2pm Free Derry Corner.
Belfast: 2pm Cultúrlann, Falls Road.
Dublin: 12pm GPO.
Cork: 2pm Daunt’s Square.
Irish Basque Committees
Listen to Basque Info online Tuesdays 6.30-7pm at www.feilefm.com