Saturday, October 04, 2008

March Against Banning of Political Parties

Demonstrators on Saturday marched through the streets of Bilbao, the financial capital of the Basque Autonomous Community, to protest a Supreme Court decision last month to ban two Basque independence parties. The protesters walked behind a large banner which read "Freedom for Euskal Herria," using the Basque language name for the Basque Country.

The march was organised by left-wing Basque nationalists to protest the court's decision to ban the Basque Nationalist Action (ANV) and Communist Party of Basque Lands (PCTV) because of their alleged links to Batasuna.

Among those who took part in the march was the president of ANV, Kepa Bereziartua, and the former spokesman for Batasuna, Arnaldo Otegi, who was released from jail in August after spending just over a year behind bars.

Batasuna has been banned as a party since 2003 when the Francoist government of Juan Carlos Borbon created a law that is in fact a throw back to his benefactor's regime of death and terror.

The Basque Country already enjoys considerable autonomy but most Basques want to secede from Spain and France and regain the sovereignty they enjoyed for hundreds of years.

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