Sunday, February 15, 2004

United Against Torture

Today at Berria English:

Thousands in Donostia unite against torture

Crowds of people joined the demo organised by TAT with the slogan “25 years of Torture. Enough is Enough”

Gurutze Izagirre – DONOSTIA (San Sebastian)
Thousands of people, 20,000 say the organisers, gathered in Donostia yesterday opposing torture in a demonstration organised by TAT. The slogan on the banner ran: “25 urte torturapean. Aski da” (25 years of Torture. Enough is Enough). The banner was carried by many of the people who have denounced torture like Unai Romano, Martxelo Otamendi, Anika Gil and Leire Gallastegi. They were joined by the relatives of people who have died on police premises: the relatives of Xabier Kalparsoro, Gurutze Iantzi, Mikel Zabaltza and Joseba Arregi. Together with the multitude that had gathered behind them they marched along the Donostia streets.

The march set off from the Boulevard of Donostia at exactly 17.30 hours. Behind the main banner came the people from political parties and many social organisations who were supporting the TAT call. They included Batasuna members Arnaldo Otegi, Pernando Barrena, Joseba Permach and Koldo Gorostiaga, EA representatives Martin Aranburu and Rafa Larreina, Aralar’s Juan Martin Elexpuru; Pedro Albite was there from AuB, Jesus Mari Gete from LAB, Elkarri’s Maixus Rekalde and many TAT members. Throughout the march four police vans of the Ertzaintza led the way in front of the main banner. But there was no trouble at all. The demonstrators shouted slogans in the Donostia streets. They mostly included: “The police torture and kill”, “Repression is not the way”, “No, no, no to torture”, and “People are tortured here”. The demonstrators moved fairly rapidly along their route and as they crossed the streets in city centre of Donostia, the head of the demonstration reached its starting point, the Boulevard, once again. A lot of people could not get to the start of the march, because the city’s streets were packed. Many of them arrived at the end of the march and waited for the head of the demonstration to get to the Boulevard.

Those at the end of the march, however, got to the Boulevard at around 18.45, half an hour after the head had arrived. Bringing up the rear there was another banner carried by many people from Barañain [a town near Iruñea-Pamplona]. The slogan on the banner ran: “Barañain, 100 ahots errepresioaren aurka” (Barañain, 100 voices against repression).

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