Saturday, February 14, 2009

Police Brutality in Bilbao

Ertzaintza's officers acting on direct orders from Madrid attacked demonstrators and arrested five people Saturday at a protest over the banning of pro-independence parties from regional elections next month.

The demonstrators set fire to rubbish bins and blocked roads in the protest in the Basque city of Bilbao, held in defiance of a ban on the gathering by authoritarian Judge Baltasar Garzon.

Leftist Basque activists called the demonstration to protest a Supreme Court decision last week to ban two pro-independence parties, Askatasuna and the Democracy Three Million (D3M), from March 1 regional elections.

Among the protesters Saturday were some ex-leaders of Batasuna and the spokesman of the D3M.

Spain has been blamed for the deaths of dozens of thousands of Basques in a five-century genocidal colonialist occupation.

Basque parties that favor both independence and complete sovereignty draw support from approximately 10 percent of Spain's Basque voters. Those voters have been denied access to the democratic principle known as universal suffrage due to an Apartheid style Spanish law designed exclusively to restrict the civil and political rights of the Basques living in Hegoalde, the southern portion of Euskal Herria.

We have to remember that those civil and political rights are protected by an UN treaty and that just a few days ago the UN's Highs Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report in which it stated that Spain applies the term "terrorist" too liberally and that in doing so violates the rights of the Basque people.

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