Se presenta el primer post que iniciará un espacio en inglés (cada dos semanas aproximadamente)  a la audiencia internacional del blog centrado en noticias de la actualidad vasca o artículos y documentos de interés general sobre el conflicto político en Euskal Herria. BGD!

This is a contribution  for Borroka garaia da!. Author: Basque witchcraft

January 1-15 2014

Hello! This is the first instance of a series of biweekly or monthly reports on Basque news intended for the international readership of BGD! Hope it is of interest.

More than 100,000 march in Bilbao for Basque prisoners in spite of Inquisition

130,000 people marched on January 11th through the streets of Bilbao in yet another massive demonstration in solidarity with Basque political prisoners and exiles.


The original march Tantaz Tanta (drop on drop), which had been carefully planned for months, was banned in the last minute by the Spanish political tribunal Audiencia Nacional (a especial court of fascist creation popularly known as the Inquisition) and was refurbished as a new demonstration called by Basque nationalist political parties and worker unions, with a silent character an a decaffeinated slogan (Human Rights. Solution. Peace). However the people taking part in it essentially ignored the silent character and continuously chanted slogans in solidarity with the Basque prisoners, demanding their repatriation and amnesty.

It is a long story, so we better begin on Wednesday 8th, when inquisitor Velasco decided to raid the interlocution group that had been working for a whole year attempting to communicate Basque political prisoners with the civil society, here and abroad. Two lawyer offices and several private homes were searched and eight people (out of 20 making up the group) were arrested. Bilbao and other Basque towns suffered another bout of massive occupation by Spanish Military Police (Guardia Civil).

That same day many spontaneous protests sprouted around the Basque Country against this yet another act of political imperialist repression against Basque freedom. At least in Bilbao the Western Basque Autonomous Police corps (Ertzaintza), under control of the Basque Nationalist Party (bourgeois regionalists), charged against the protesters beating one young man so badly that he lost consciousness. He was later arrested and charged with the usual arbitrary charges (resistance, insults and aggression).

On Friday 10th, the same judge decided to declare the demonstration illegal, arguing that the Tantaz Tanta movement was continuity of the prisoner solidarity movement Herrira (back to the homeland), which the Inquisition banned in Autumn 2013, arresting many.

Under the more or less explicit threat by the Basque Nationalist Party to use all its police might to impede the demonstration, the organizers of the Tantaz Tanta march decided to obey the ruling. Instead the Basque nationalist political and union forces jointly called a new march, half an hour later, under a very different and quite meaningless slogan and demand of silence.

In spite of all 130,000 citizens marched through the city and filled it with chants of solidarity with Basque political prisoners.

Sources [eu/es]: Naiz Info (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5, link 6, link 7, link 8), Berria (link 1, link 2, link 3), BGD!, La Haine.

Political Prisoners demand reparation

The Basque Political Prisoners’ Network (EPPK) considers that they are also owed a reparation for the many abuses comitted by the Spanish state, notably the policy of dispersion, which keeps prisoners far away from their homes, forcing their relatives and friends to very long and risky journeys for visiting. They are not only scattered in 81 different prisons but also in different modules within each prison. Furthermore, they are often forced to endure inhuman punishments like isolation, destructive and sexually aggressive searches or de-facto bans of Basque media.

Basque political prisoners include members of ETA guerrilla but also hundreds of citizens who have been prosecuted and jailed for purely ideological reasons, without any participation in the armed struggle.

Source: Berria [eu].

Internet Inquisition: members of Apurtu.org denounce mock justice, demand freedom for Ateak Ireki

The four Navarrese citizens held under provisional arrest for up to 18 months and recently acquitted without trial, as the case against the counter-information site Apurtu.org was dismissed, asked in press conference how will the state compensate them for the arbitrary arrest and all the other abuses.

They denounced how so many Basque media have been closed without the slightest guarantee and demanded that Ateak Ireki, currently censored and under prosecution for allegedly being continuity of Apurtu.org, be let free to continue informing.

They also denounced the attitude of so many media, who actively supported the criminalization maneuver back in the day and now totally ignore the dismissal of the case. They were put in evidence by empty labelled seats in the press conference.

The four victims of political persecution were supported by many journalists and social activists.

Sources[es]: Ateak Ireki (currently not directly accessible in Spanish jurisdiction), Naiz Info.

Garoña nuclear power plant to be reopened

In spite of the previous decision of discontinuing the dangerous and elderly Fukushima-like facility, the Spanish Government is preparing an ad-hoc decree that would allow the highly impopular reactor near the Basque border to continue its activity.

The plant has been closed since July 2013 after the owner, Nuclenor failed to fulfill the security requirements in the legal term, in an apparent attempt to blackmail the government. While the details are yet unclear it seems that the utility finally succeeded with its maneuver. The popular opinion, massively opposed to nuclear energy has again been ignored.

Source: Naiz Info [eu].

The economy in 2013: no visible change.

carsThis very limited decrease of the unemployment figures was not caused by new job creation, because social security affiliation fell by 304 in the same period. This figure best reflects the actual change in legal jobs, which was slightly negative. Hence the slim decrease in unemployment almost certainly implies people losing hope or even emigrating.

Car sales grew some 7.3%, impelled by public subsidies. But it looks like a mere technical bounce, the second one in a scenario of clear collapse since the Great Crisis began in 2007 (graph on the right). From a figure of 73,573 cars sold in the Southern Basque Country in 2006, the consumption of vehicles has collapsed in this period to a mere 35,058 in 2013, less than half.

Source: Berria[eu] (link 1, link 2).

Kepa Bereziartua, last President of EAE-ANV, died.


On January 6th the last President of the first Basque party to combine socialism and nationalism, Basque Nationalist Action (EAE-ANV) died in Vitoria-Gasteiz at the age of 64. He was prosecuted since 2008 in one of the many inquisitorial campaigns against Basque political rights, led by the infamous judge Baltasar Garzón, and charged with the arbitrary accusation of being member of ETA (under the doctrine of “everything is ETA”), along with other 43 members of the party. According to this shameless hypocrite, EAE was “successor” of Batasuna in spite of being almost a century older, so he decreed its illegalization, impeding that many Basques could exert their right to vote again.

Source: Berria[eu].

Madrid: conference of victims of political repression cancelled after multiple threats

A conference by Basque victims of political repression was to be held on January 13th in the occupied social center Potemkin. However the center received insistent threats by the Spanish governor and also fascist groups and they finally decided to cancel it.

They state:

The very fact that the right to report on the trials and give a voice to those charged in the capital of the State is yet another evidence of the lack of freedoms and the total non-existence of democracy, exactly as the streets of Madrid denounce on daily basis.

Source: Libre [es].

2 thoughts on “What’s going on in the Basque Country?

  1. ETA’s decision to a permanent ceasefire is starting to look more and more successful. They should NOT disarm until there are several international agreements that legally bind both parties in a process of eventual independence. Spain may have its Constitution and its opinion on how it should govern what it claims to be its possession, but there is growing awareness of the actual situation. It should matter not if Euskal Herria wants to become a communist country at/after independence, just as it does not matter that Spain is currently a fascist regime (but with clever operation that makes it seem not so).

    What is becoming increasingly clear is that ETA is not a group of people. In fact, it is an idea. Just like feudalism or capitalism are ideas. Therefore, the real problem is a lack of vision, vision to understand that the idea has already spread around the world. The only way to tackle it now is through dialouge. Using violence will only return violence to them. They must be smarter than this, and they must have learned by now that their “enemy” is not someone they can just disregard. The power of the idea is not like that. ETA has thus far kept true to its strategic decision to a ceasefire, and the Spanish government has only reacted as if it doesn’t care, as if this is some kind of show to say Who Is The Most Powerful. It’s disgusting, but, I believe, not necessarily permanent. Everyone takes their own time to learn. I just hope they can cease this opportunity for dialouge before it’s too late again.

  2. “Using violence will only return violence to them.”

    Using or not using violence seems quite irrelevant in this sense: violence from the state always come in similar ways. Whether you choose one way or another has not much to do, I understand, with expected repression and state terrorism but with how it works politically in terms of joining forces and producing results.

    But state violence has always been quite similar and merciless: before ETA, with ETA and now as well.

    “It’s disgusting, but, I believe, not necessarily permanent. Everyone takes their own time to learn.”

    Why would they have to learn? Why would they care? They are only interested in holding power and plundering the people. This is not a soap opera: this is reality, the reality of capitalism, the reality of Machiavellianism, the reality of the state as dictatorship of the plutocrats.

    I have inserted a link with further academic info in the word “Machiavellianism” because I’m meaning it in a psycho-social dimension that we must understand: people in power are almost invariably moved not by what motivates common people (solidarity, freedom, justice and such) but by mere ambition and greed. Their reactionary values are just a pretext. They are subclinical psychopaths and they tend to rule us in all areas and, unless we do realize the true dimension of this problem and give it a comprehensive solution of some sort.

    Whatever the case, good will alone will not generate social justice and popular power. It needs of some sort of effective power, effective yet radically democratic power.

    In the last decades we have seen how many powers, notably the USA, have sock-puppeteered “terrorist” groups like Al Qaeda in order to generate pretexts for militarization inside and abroad. In this sense it may be a good idea to quit being a pretext for the totalitarian drift of these autocrats, however, we have also seen in West Sahara or Palestine how unilateral peace alone on the side of the oppressed does not produce any results whatsoever. In Palestine what is producing some very slow results is a widespread campaign of denounce of genocide/apartheid and boycott (BDS), in West Sahara instead, where almost nothing of this exists, the process is absolutely stuck.

    It’s a difficult and probably long-term process but I would not just expect that good will alone will produce any results. My two cents in any case.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Aldatu )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Aldatu )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Aldatu )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Aldatu )

Connecting to %s