Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gernika: Violent Crackdown

The brutal crackdown that the Ertzaintza (Basque autonomic police force) carried out last Sunday night during the festivities in Gernika gave us the balance of four detainees -who were released from jail yesterday- and more than twenty injured. Several citizens defended themselves from the savagery of the police throwing bottles and setting up barricades, while many of those inside the festival's grounds harshly criticized the ertzainas' behavior and virulent actions.

The mayor of this Bizkaian town, José María Gorroño (EA), joined the criticism and considered that Sunday's crackdown was way out of proportion. This statement earned him a reprimand from the Interior Department that recriminated the mayor with a notice saying that all what the ertzainas did was to "enforce the law" and that with his statement the mayor "seemed to be placing the blame of the incidents on the Ertzaintza". According to the notice from the Interior Department the responsibility for the four detainees and the twenty injured was "from those who violate the Law, do not abide by the legal dispositions and carry out illegal acts".

If we're going to talk about responsibility, one of the basic principles of police actions is that they have to be proportional. Actions like threatening the elderly and children, break down parades, confiscate festivity floats and tear down banners do not seem to comply with this principle.

But that's what happens when an imposed government tries to suffocate every single aspect of social interaction which is exactly what the Spanish State is doing in the Basque Country.

Seventy years ago that very same town was the chosen target by the Spaniards to carry out one of the must infamous genocidal attacks against the Basques. The event is recorded in the collective memory of the international community as the epitome of all what can go wrong in a war. Unlike the Germans and the Italians, the Spaniard have never apologized to the Basque people for the destruction of the village and the death of over 1,600 defenseless civilians. Last Sunday was a reminder of the horror but thanks to the status enjoyed by Madrid due to the so called "war on terrorism" unleashed by George W. Bush and continued by Barack Obama the event has gone unnoticed by the international main stream media.

.... ... .

No comments:

Post a Comment