Friday, May 16, 2008

Learning Experience In Ireland

This note comes to us thanks to An Phoblacht:

Basque youth Delegation in Ireland

A BASQUE youth movement delegation has been visiting Ireland over the last week to learn about the Peace Process 10 years into the Good Friday Agreement, to raise awareness of the Basque political situation, and to increase meaningful engagement with Ógra Shinn Féin and community groups.

The Basque delegation included activists from the international, student and media projects.

During the week, the Basque youth visited Tyrone, Armagh, Lurgan, Fermanagh, Belfast, Down, Dublin, Monaghan and Derry.

They also addressed a number of public meetings with enthusiastic crowds at each event engaging in an interesting discussion.

They spoke at length about the growth of the Basque youth movement and how the Spanish and French states have responded with a huge level of repression in an attempt to stem their phenomenal growth. There was a huge emphasis on the role of the Basque language in promoting a Basque identity and helping to progress their struggle.

As part of the extensive tour, the delegation met with representatives of Ógra Shinn Féin, the National Graves Association, Sinn Féin councillors, MLAs, and TDs, Sinn Féin’s Roinn an Chultúir, community and student activists, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) workers, and former political prisoners.

The engagements with the various strands of Irish republican activity opened up huge levels of debate and suggestions on how both the Irish and Basques can move forward collectively in pursuit of our common goals.

To explain the historical context of the Irish republican struggle, the Basque youth were involved in a number of tours which explored the conflict and resistance from 1798 until the modern day.

Sites of particular interest were a walking tour of Dublin, Tyrone, Belfast, Derry, Fermanagh and Narrow Water in County Down.

The delegation also held a minute’s silence at the site of the Loughgall massacre to mark the 21st anniversary.

The colonialist powers like England and Spain can do little or nothing to stop Irish and Basques from showing each other their solidarity.

.... ... .

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