Monday, September 07, 2009

Eight Injured by the Ertzaintza in Lekeitio

The Madrid imposed government in the Basque Autonomous Community insists on unleashing police brutality against the Basque civilians during the traditional summer fetivities. As a result, eight people were deprived of their freedom in clashes with the Ertzaintza (Basque police force) in Lekeitio, in the early hours of Monday during the town’s main festivity. It’s understood that seven people were injured, including a police officer.

The violence escalated after a group of citizens began shouting out insults at officers inside the police station, with others joining in the crowd as police violently tried to disperse the group, who found themselves resorting to their favorite repressive tactic, to open fire with rubber bullets. A number of rubbish containers were set alight, and damage was caused to banks and insurance offices.

Rapid action by fire crews managed to prevent any serious damage to the PNV Basque Nationalist Party’s offices in the town which some amongst the crowd had tried to set alight.

The street violence came during the Lekeitio’s traditional "Day of the Goose" – the Antzar Eguna - when locals attempt to cross a stretch of water hanging by their arms from the neck of a goose suspended on a pulley across the port. It’s understood the geese used today are either already dead or artificial.

Despite Madrid and Gasteiz's efforts to criminalize the Basque solidarity with the victims of political persecution, there are reports that some of the boats used in the Antzar Eguna were seen displaying photos of Basque political prisoners or flags in their support.

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