Thursday, August 20, 2009

Defending Freedom of Speech in Euskal Herria

Bilbao's neighbors and festival organizers are calling out to demonstrate tomorrow at noon in defense of both freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. They also denounced the "repressive and authoritarian drunken rampage" by Lakua officials and several judges.

According to the organizers, the demonstration will take place tomorrow, the climatic day for the Aste Nagusia. The demonstration will be celebrated under the mott "Freedom of speech. Democracy", and its scheduled to depart at 13:00 hours from the Zabalburu Square with the finish line at Circular Square. The invitation to take part in the demonstration is to every single person that "is in favor of freedom and against the return of regimes from the past that represent censorship and terror".

During the public meeting that took place in front of the Arriaga Theater, they made clear "how worried" they are "on the face of a widest crackdown on civil liberties".

They explained how basic rights like the freedom of assembly and the freedom for mass public demonstrations "are violated every single day, often with brutality and violence". "Only this month, dozens of people have been injured, some seriously wounded, for wanting to express their ideas on the street on a peaceful fashion" they added.

Neighbors and festivity organizers expressed that the "repressive and authoritarian drunken rampage" by Spain's Interior Department and by "organizations that hold extremist positions, satellite groups of an specific political party" has gone to the extreme of having them deciding "what is legal", along with judges "holed up in their offices hundreds of miles away from the Basque Country".

In that sense, they criticized that social demands as "legitimated and rooted" as the repatriation of the Basque political prisoners, "assumed even by the Gasteiz Parliament, the Basque Autonomous Community legislative bodies and the totality of the Basque municipalities", the right of assembly, the right to mass public demonstrations, the demand for independence and even the defense of the Basque flag "have been outlawed by edict" all the way from Madrid.

The neighbors and festivity organizers also explained how "the persecution" has gone "to the extreme of criminalizing" some individuals "for their condition of being family members". They firmly stated that also, this "mobbing attitude" has derived "in grave death threats in the case of the txupinera".

Due to the extent of the repression, the speakers decried the "silence by many Basque social, political and union leaders, with honorable exceptions, like the major of Gernika".

The speaker concluded the act stating that the defense of the fundamental right to assembly, "just like the right to have your own opinions and ideas, and the right to uphold them in equal conditions", is becoming "a top priority" necessity.

This call to defend the freedom of speech comes preceded by a ban impossed by the Spanish Audiencia Nacional and Lakua's Interior Department against a demonstration organized under the motto «Independentziaren bidean, aldaketa politiko eta soziala» for that very same day in the Bizkaian capital city. There is no answer yet to the legal counter-draft presented before the TSJPV.

Before the demonstration organized by neighbors and festivity organizers was announed, the PSE stated that it would be "desirable" that "the pro-independence left would tone down its position" and refrain from celebrating any mass public demonstrations. On the other hand, the PP, directly demanded that the demonstration would be outlawed.

.... ... .

No comments:

Post a Comment