Basque Ceasefire Statement: Full Text

Eta-statement-007

Members of the Basque separatist group Eta make a ceasfire staement, the full text of which is below. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

With this declaration, Euskadi ta Askatasuna, the Basque socialist revolutionary organisation for national liberation, wishes to give news of its decision:

Eta considers that the international conference that has recently taken place in the Basque country is an initiative of enormous significance. The agreed resolution includes all the elements for an integral solution of the conflict, and it has attained the support of a wide spectrum of the Basque society and the international community.

A new political time is emerging in the Basque country. We have an historical opportunity to find a just and democratic solution for the centuries old political conflict. Dialogue and agreement should outline the new cycle, over violence and repression. The recognition of the Basque country and the respect for the will of the people should prevail over imposition.

This has not been an easy road. The cruelty of the fight has taken away the lives of many comrades. Many others are still suffering in prison and in exile. Our recognition and deepest tribute goes out to them.

From here on the road will not be easy either. Facing the imposition that still exists, every step, every achievement, will be the result of the effort and fight of Basque citizens. During these years the Basque country has accumulated the necessary experience and strength to address this path and it also has the determination for doing it. It is time to look at the future with hope. It is also time to act with responsibility and courage.

Therefore, Eta has decided the definitive cessation of its armed activity. Eta calls upon the Spanish and French governments to open a process of direct dialogue with the aim of addressing the resolution of the consequences of the conflict and, thus, to overcome the armed confrontation. Thorough this historical declaration, Eta shows its clear, solid and definitive commitment.

Lastly, Eta calls upon the Basque society to commit to this process until freedom and peace are achieved.

Long live the free Euskal Herria! Long live Basque socialism! No rest until independence and socialism!

Basque country, 20 October 2011

Euskadi ta Askatasuna

Eta

Wales, Catalunya and the Basques May Follow Scotland in Its Search for Independence

192794340

Republican writing supporting the Yes vote in the Scottish Referendum on a mountain in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.

 

MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Inspired by Scotland’s example Wales may also claim its independence in a few years, the Guardian reported Friday.

“It will take a lot of work but I think it can happen. I’m over 50 now but we can see independence here in my lifetime,” Welsh political campaigner and popular children”s author Angharad Tomos told the Guardian after returning from Scotland.

Before the Scottish referendum went forward, debates about independence in Wales were widely seen as impossible, but now there is a growing optimism among Welsh nationalists.

Although Welsh people are aware of the arguments against independence, such as the fact that Wales is not economically strong enough and is located too close to England to be separated, some locals still believe that one day Wales could secede from the United Kingdom. Just as the Scottish people do, Welsh claim that the reason for all of the problems in the country is Westminster’s dominance.

“People tell us we’re a poor country. Wales is not poor. We’ve got huge natural resources. We’re poor because Westminster makes the rules. They’ve never made the rules in favor of us and it’s getting worse. People are having to use food banks; I never thought that would happen. There’s so much unemployment in my area [north west Wales] that young people are disempowered and leaving,” Tomos said.

Some Welsh politicians agree that independence in Wales should no longer be seen as a pipe dream, but rather as a long-term aspiration.

“Six hundred years ago our state was destroyed. We’re playing catch-up. There are 641 castles in Wales. We may be the most militarily occupied nation in the history of Europe. We have to go through a period of de-occupation in our minds. In this century, maybe in our generation, Wales will be an independent state. We need to prepare for that,” the Guardian quoted Adam Price, Welsh politician and former Plaid Cymru member as saying.

Although the majority of Welsh people prefer to live just as they are now and do not want to change the status quo, with recent polls showing that only few percent of voters in Wales would back the independence, everyone agrees that a “Yes” vote is Scotland would have a major impact for the rest of the United Kingdom.

“While a decision to go it alone lies with the people of Scotland, a yes vote would have a major impact for the rest of the UK, and regardless of the result it is important for us to consider our future constitutional arrangements in Wales,” Carwyn Jones, the leader of Welsh Labour and the first minister told the Guardian.

The long-standing issue of the Scottish independence is to be settled by a referendum scheduled for September 18, when voters will be asked one question only, “Should Scotland become an independent country?”

If the majority of Scots vote for independence, then on March 24, 2016 Scotland will secede from the United Kingdom.

Spain vs Basques Independentists

The Spanish interior minister has bestowed the country's top policing medal on the Virgin Mary, writes Fernandez [Reuters]

The Spanish Interior Minister has bestowed the country’s top policing medal on the Virgin Mary [Reuters]

Dubious policing awards and ‘Operation Spider’:

Is the Generalissimo’s ghost haunting austerity-stricken Spain?

Last week, Spain’s Guardia Civil – the Civil Guard or gendarmerie – detained 21 social media users for allegedly “glorifying terrorism” on Twitter and Facebook. Fifteen of them were apprehended in the northern Spanish regions of Navarre and the Basque Country, an area that has long harboured separatist aspirations. Two were minors.

If convicted, the tweeters and Facebookers will face up to two years in prison. Among the alleged glorifications of terrorism, apparently, was a tweeted map of the Basque Country, emblazoned with the Basque word for independence.

Given the nutty news content that has become the norm in this country as of late, many Spaniards perhaps did not bat an eye. First there were the headlines surrounding the proposed Citizens’ Security Law, which prescribes fines of up to 600,000 euros ($835,500) for unauthorised street protests – and up to 1,000 euros ($1,400) for losing one’s identity document more than three times in five years.

Then there was the news that the Spanish interior minister had taken it upon himself to bestow the country’s top policing medal on the Virgin Mary. In addition to generally being reserved for human recipients, the award is intended to honour policemen who have been killed or wounded in the line of duty. (The ministry of the interior has now been dubbed the “monastery of the interior” by certain media, and a petition has surfaced at change.org requesting a similar medal for Spiderman.)

But the Virgin, it seems, has done a less than stellar job of policing Twitter in recent weeks – hence the necessity of the anti-terror intervention by the Guardia Civil. The social media sweep has incidentally been christened “Operation Spider”.

Crime and punishment, or lack thereof

Let’s take a look at the content of some of the other terror-tweets and Facebook statuses aside from the aforementioned map.

In a Facebook post, one of the persons later detained complained that, although the Spanish state had condemned the Basque armed separatist group ETA as “evil terrorists” based on the assassinations and killings it perpetrated, “the banks are killing people every day and nothing happens; [rather], the state protects and defends them”.

This, of course, would appear to be a relatively sober analysis of the contemporary situation in austerity-stricken Spain, where, in 2012, banks were overseeing approximately 500 home evictions per day, prompting a surge in suicides. It’s not clear when drawing attention to state hypocrisy became a crime.

This oppression is clearly visible in the haphazard crackdown on persons who tweet Basque Country maps or quotes from the Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci – as reportedly happened last year. Predictably, no such punitive measures are undertaken against social media users who glorify rightwing and state terror.

But there I go glorifying terrorism.

To be sure, some of the social media dispatches in question are in poor taste, and include offensive references to innocent victims of ETA operations. However, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out in the past, there is a context that explains the existence of such groups and their supporters: “ETA came out of repression and persecution, not out of nothing.”

Indeed, the organisation’s origins lie in the dictatorship of the late Francisco Franco, who is credited with the killing of an estimated 113,000 people during and after the Spanish civil war. Franco nurtured a special hatred for the Basque region, and much of the repression during his rule was carried out by none other than the Guardia Civil – the same entity that is now helping to criminalise 140-character texts on Twitter. One of the targeted tweets involved a photograph of the 1973 bombing assassination of Franco’s appointed successor Luis Carrero Blanco, with the caption “I WANT TO FLYYYYYYYYY AND FLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.”

Unfortunately for Spain’s alleged crime-fighters, the issue of impunity opens up a major can of worms. Thanks to a post-Franco amnesty law, there has not been an iota of justice enacted by the Spanish system on behalf of the victims of Francoist crimes. This means that the two years of prison time potentially facing deviant tweeters is a full two years more than the amount of prison time faced by, for example, torture-happy police inspectors.

Selective memory

According to Messuti, memory is the “only ally in the combat against impunity”. But, as she notes, “memory is in the brain of a man or woman, and the brain is in a body, and a body is bound to die”.

One of countless testaments to this simple process of biocerebral destruction is my father’s relative Adela Centurion, who died over a decade ago at the age of 92. Following the Spanish civil war, she had spent six years in prison for having prepared and delivered food to her two brothers, guerrillas in the anti-Franco resistance in Andalusia. The brothers were executed. You could say that when Adela and her memory died, they were executed again.

Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland wrote in 2011 that Spain “has lacked the catharsis that can come with a full reckoning with the past”. Prospects for such a reckoning have dwindled even further with the ascension to power of the rightwing Popular Party (PP), about which Freedland reported pre-ascension: “Several times I was told that too many luminaries of the PP have family ties with the Franco regime: They are the sons and daughters of those who served the caudillo.”

The problem with refusing to confront the past is not just that human suffering goes unacknowledged and uncompensated – it’s also that you end up with elements of history repeating themselves. This is not to say that Spain is suddenly going to find itself in front of a fascist firing squad but rather that government oppression will continue to occur under the guise of protecting citizens from terrorism and violence.

Rightwing impunity?

This oppression is clearly visible in the haphazard crackdown on persons who tweet Basque Country maps or quotes from the Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci – as reportedly happened last year. Predictably, no such punitive measures are undertaken against social media users who glorify rightwing and state terror.

As has been pointed out in the satirical magazine El Jueves – which is no doubt having a field day under the current regime – Spanish journalist Hermann Tertsch once composed a tweet insisting that “democracy would have applauded” the execution by Franco of Catalonian politician and lawyer Lluis Companys. Far from a marginalised and irrelevant individual, Tertsch happens to be the former sub-director of one of Spain’s most prominent newspapers, and presently boasts 57,000 followers on Twitter.

Nor have any crackdowns apparently been deemed necessary against rightwing student groups that attack meetings of victims of the dictatorship, “throwing notebooks, umbrellas, chairs [and] tables”.

El Jueves contends that the Spanish government “is interested in keeping the ghost of ETA alive and well… If people have their heads between their legs, they won’t be able to see how empty their pockets are”.

As for other sorts of ghosts, the same article recalls a tweet by Angel Lara, a member of the New Generations – the youth organisation of the PP – expressing a desire for Franco’s return “even though he’ll die when he sees what Spain has become”.

Luckily for Lara and like-minded tweeters, it doesn’t look like the Generalissimo’s ghost will be dying any time soon. Maybe it’ll even get its own policing medal.

Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusia 2013 – Zorionak guztioi!

Amets Arzallus: ‘Euskal Herri guztiarena da txapela’

Txapela ‘Iparraldean preso’ ikusten ez duela azpimarratu du Hendaiako bertsolariak, eta aitortu du ‘malkoak hurbilen’ Maialenek zoriondu…

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Hona hemen Aitor Mendiluzeren Kartzelako lana, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Amets Arzallus bertsolariaren Kartzelako lana, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean.

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Aitor Sarriegi eta Unai Iturriaga bertsolariak, Seiko Motzean, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean.

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Hona hemen Igor Elortza eta Maialen Lujanbio, Hamarreko Txikian, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean.

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Hona hemen Igor Elortza eta Aitor Mendiluze, puntukako lanean, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean.

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Hona hemen zortzi bertsolari finalisten agurra, arratsaldeko saioaren hasieran, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean.

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Maialen Lujanbio bertsolariaren Kartzelako lana, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Amets Arzallus eta Sustrai Colina bertsolariak, Zortziko Handian, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean.

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Nelson Mandelaren heriotzari buruz Amets Arzallus bertsolariak egindako puntutako lana, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean.

Published on Dec 17, 2013

Hona hemen zortzi bertsolari finalisten hasierako agurrak, Barakaldoko BECen izandako 2013ko Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusiaren finalean.