Basque Country

Huge Basque rallies against Spanish repression

An estimated 33,000 people marched through the Basque city of Donostia on January 17 to protest ongoing Spanish state repression against civil rights activists and lawyers in the Basque Country.

Marching under a large banner reading “Human Rights, Resolution, Peace”, the demonstration included members of the Basque pro-independence left coalition EH Bildu, trade unions and supporters of Basque political prisoners.

Basques arrested after huge prisoner rights march

The Basque people have suffered long-standing repression and denial of national rights under Spanish rule, including many jailings of supporters of Basque self-determination.

The Basque nationalist movement is entirely committed to peaceful, non-violent means, with Basque armed group ETA declared a “permanent cessation” of armed activity in 2011. Spanish state repression has not ended, however.

The statement below was released on January 17 by the Basque Peace Process website.

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Spain: Left and pro-sovereignty forces demand republic referendum

Willy Meyer, who was elected to European parliament in the May poll as lead candidate for United Left (IU), has demanded a binding referendum to allow the people of Spain to choose between the current model of a parliamentary monarchy or a republic. The call came after the June 2 announcement of Spain's King Juan Carlos that he would abdicate in favour of his son, Felipe.

Partizan Travel offers new form of radical, pro-people tourism

After a few years in the making, Partizan Travel has finally been launched. It is a social enterprise that provides progressive-minded people across the world the chance to visit various countries in a different, authentic way.

Visitors will learn about those nations by meeting grassroots activists and hearing about the history and reality of their struggles. They will take part in political events, enjoy local culture and traditional food.

Madrid’s Basque stance absurd and untenable

The Spanish government’s response to the move by armed Basque pro-independence organisation Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA) to put its weapons beyond use has clearly demonstrated it favours continuing conflict over peace.

On February 21, ETA released a video showing two of its members meeting with representatives of the International Verification Commission. The IVC were inspecting weapons that had been put beyond operational use.

Basque Country: ETA starts disarming, Spain ignores move

The armed group Basque Country And Freedom (ETA has made a significant step towards decommissioning the weapons used in its campaign for independence and freedom, Irish Republican News said on February 21. But the Spanish government immediately rejected the move.

The decommissioning by ETA of some its cache of weapons and explosives, drawing a definitive line under decades of bloody conflict, was confirmed by an International Verification Commission.

Spain's dispersion policy kills Basque prisoner

The Basque political prisoner Arkaitz Bellon was found dead in his jail cell on February 5, more than 1000 kilometres from his home.

The body of the prisoner from Elorrio, who was 36, was found in his bed. Jail authorities say “his death points to natural causes”, but they will carry out a more detailed investigation. Bellon's lawyers and family have petitioned for a doctor they trust to be present at the autopsy.

Bellon spent 13 years in prison for acts of sabotage and had the date for his release was set for next May.

Basque left party Sortu congratulates Green Left for 1000 issues

From Sortu, left-wing party of supporters of Basque sovereignty, we would like to congratulate Green Left Weekly on publishing 1000 issues to date; a long journey, during which it has provided a truthful coverage of world events.

We would like to express our thanks for the attention your publication has paid to news from Euskal Herria (the Basque Country), especially events of recent years, which have created a new political situation in our country and are bringing us closer to a just and lasting peace.

Basque Country: Huge march advances struggle for peace, national rights

For decade, the People’s Party (PP) of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has believed it had a reliable political gun in its holster ― unbending opposition to any group or proposal that could be portrayed as linked to Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA).

ETA is the left-nationalist armed group responsible for more than 800 deaths in its 50-year-long fight against the Spanish state.

Basque human rights decision puts Spanish state on the spot

Anyone in Spain with the slightest understanding of human rights’ law knew that the Grand Chamber (full bench) of the European Court of Human Rights was bound to reject the appeal of the Spanish government over the case of convicted Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA) prisoner Ines del Rio.

For decades, ETA waged an armed struggle for independence for the Basque Country from the Spanish state. In 2011, it declared a “permanent ceasefire”, ending its armed campaign.

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