Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
On an effort to gain economic favors from the fascist regime in Madrid, the Uruguayan government decided to mercilessly repress its own people.
Since then, every year, on August 24th the NGO "Plenaria Memoria y Justicia" calls for Uruguayans to publicly demonstrate "against impunity" and "against sponging the past", also, to show their support for the "independence of the Basque Country and the right to self-determination of the peoples", said Irma Leytes, the spokesperson for the NGO.
Pseudo-reporters embedded in different mass media corporations on Madrid's paycheck tried to pin the whole thing on support for ETA as they usually do when they find people that sees through the web of lies and deception created by Paris and Madrid to deny the Basque people the right to decide their own future. But Irma Leytes did not allow them to mar the demonstration and reminded them that they do not have to pronounce themselves regarding ETA since the NGO Plenaria Memoria y Justicia does not "question the methodology chosen" by other groups. Leytes pointed out that on today's demonstration they counted with the presence of members of Askapena, the internationalist Basque association.
The events at the Hospital Filtro in Montevideo, that this electoral year in Urugay have become a controversial element of dispute among the political parties, took place on August 24th of 1994. The public demonstrations against the extradition of three Basque political refugees lasted for a number of days and were backed by the leftist coalition Frente Amplio, the current ruling party in Urugay. On the eve of the extradition of the three Basques, scheduled for August 25th, the police decided to unleash a violent repression against hundred of demonstrators, murdering Fernando Morroni a wounding dozens.
According to Leytes, one of the goals of the demonstration is to "put forward the need that former President Luis Alberto Lacalle does not continue to enjoy impunity over this case". Lacalle, the candidate for the opposition's Partido Nacional for the electoral process on October 25th was the President at the time of the Hospital Filtro massacre.
There will be remembrance acts in different locations in Euskal Herria as an effort by Basque society to honor those who have given their lives to protect the human and civil rights of the Basque political refugees.
.... ... .
Saturday, August 22, 2009
It is quite possible that, due to the dismal lack of knowledge and the preposterous bias deeply rooted in Madrid regarding the Basque reality, a judge may believe that the criticism against the dispersion policy is simply an "ETA/Ekin slogan". This was stated by the Audiencia Nacional judge Eloy Velasco, who earlier this week pressed charges for "apology of terrorism" against a number of food service employees using such argument.
But even a poorly informed person, with no access to any other version but the one portrayed on the police reports (with few facts but extensive guess work), should be able to set apart simply trues, like a father displaying the photograph of his daughter, sentenced to life in prison and serving her time in a jail thousands of miles away and enduring inhumane conditions, is not responding to a slogan but to his own conscience and dignity.
As a matter of fact, that reality can not hide that in Nabarra, thousands of people consider that the Basque political prisoners fight for legitimate ideals, even those who do not share their goals nor their methods.
The big issue here is that if the Spanish judges and politicians compare painting a graffiti in favor of ETA to a public demonstration in favor of the political prisoners' rights, the only result they will achieve is that the Basque dissidence will set up a barricade that will include the social base that supports the Basque Nationalist Party. This comparison established by the doctrine that "everything is ETA" even goes against the perception of reality by the majority of those who vote for the PSOE in the Basque Country. Despite the belligerent speech by the politicians and the wild verdicts by the judges, common sense prevails in Basque society.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
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.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
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.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
On Saturday August the 8th, Basque Conference Held in Belfast
Julen Arzuaga, a lawyer from Behatokia, the Basque Observatory of Human Rights, travelled to Belfast from the Basque Country to speak at the conference, present at the conference were Iñaki de Juana and Arturo Beñat Villanueva, two Basque activists who are fighting extradition charges by the Spanish government. The firm of attorneys who are representing both men, gave a progress report on its efforts to defeat the extradition charges.
There were more than 100 people present at the conference on political persecution in the Basque Country on Saturday August 8 in An Chultúrlann in west Belfast, organised by the Don't Extradite the Basques Campaign as part of the annual Féile an Phobail.
Veteran republican activist Danny Morrison introduced the conference and in a speech compared the Spanish government's persecution of the Basque pro-independence movement with the experience of Irish republicans over several decades, and went on to say "The best way this community can show our solidarity with the Basque people's struggle for their human and national rights in this period of severe repression by the Spanish government is by making sure that these vindictive extradition attempts are defeated."
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Previous to Perez Rubalcaba's statement the only time when something similar happened was when Jaime Mayor Oreja admitted that "ETA never lies". Only that by then Mayor Oreja was not the titular of the Interior Minister anymore and his word were encased in a verbal attack against the PSOE, which in turn reduced the value of the statement. Nevertheless, the big difference resides in the fact that the statements by the Interior Minister take place with him acting as the spokesman for the Spanish regime, a regime that has not rebuked Perez Rubalcaba's statements. Quite the opposite, Rodolfo Ares, who holds the equivalent post in the Basque Autonomous Community and as a member of his political party, supported his boss' statement.
The only person that may have pondered the gravity of Perez Rubalcaba's statement -besides the direct recipients of the statement- has been Patxi Zabaleta, who is usually used as a Troy Horse against the pro-independence left by the Spanish regime and the rest of the political parties. The stark evidence of what has been more than evident for so long, specially coming from the Spanish Interior Minister, exposes many of the pontifications that, disguised of innocence and good will, had been released in an attempt to blame the pro-independence left for the severe lack of civil liberties endured in the Basque Country.
It is certain, in any case, that the mere condemnation of violence, resorting for a moment to the terminology in vogue at this time, does not necessarily imply the honest compromise to what is being repudiated. Perez Rubalcaba himself is the best example for that for he belongs to a political party that throughout the years condemned the GAL's actions the while file and rank carried out a dirty war with the financial support by the very same government that he was a part of. The final guilty verdict, although merely testimonial, against a number of those involved in the violent deaths of 23 Basque citizens did not prevent the PSOE from openly showing its support, to the extreme of accompanying them all the way to the very gates of the detention center in Guadalajara.
And the same can be said about the PP with respect to the Franco era regime. Only that, on top of it, in this specific case the conservative Spaniard avoid making that condemnation public. In some cases, like in the case of the always honest Mayor Oreja, they have no qualms when it comes to speaking highly of the dictatorship.
Having said that, there will be those who will insist that the GAL, the Franco era regime and ETA are simply not the same. And it is true. But, why should they be different in the sense that they think and not in the senses considered by the pro-independence left?
Why are the Spaniards allowed to support their "truth", their view of history, but the pro-independence Basques are persecuted for stating what they think, or even for thinking the way they do?
The position held by the different political agents regarding the different kinds of violence do not depend from an abstract sense of morality, but from very specific political agendas. Another question is which one of such kinds of violence is moral on immoral and under which circumstances, or which kind of violence can sustain those agendas. But in the Spanish regime there is no freedom to discuss these issues.
There will be those who, when it comes the time, will consider that their political party has never been involved in any instance of political violence, that their slate is clean, and that it has only resorted to the lawful violence bestowed by the democratic institutions. Many in EA and the PNV will think that way. But, unless they consider that the appraisal done until now is false, that the reality shown without cover-ups by Perez Rubalcaba is not such, will have to accept the fact that this panorama is long ways from what could be considered democratic and that they have behaved as is if it was democratic. In such case, violence has been exercised in the name of law, but not in favor of justice nor democracy.
The very same, or even more, can be said about the present situation in which we find the Basque political conflict. The option to systematically outlaw demonstrations was first used by the PNV. The same way, those who refuse to accept their responsibility in the violence that has been generated should at least accept their responsibility for not thoroughly seeking a solution to the situation within the parameters of justice, democracy and liberty. The vertigo shown at Loiola by the top jelkides is a good example of that.
Summing uo, is time for everyone to renew their respective compromise, and stop their outlandish demands to others. Is time for some serious self-criticism, with no room for self-indulgence. Now is not the time for morally unproductive condemnations, whether they are true or false. Is time to propose political solutions in the short and long term.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
With a complete different outcome, another Basque political refugee, in this case in Venezuela, this very same week faced the possibility of being extradited to the Spanish State. Eventually, Iñaki Etxeberria was released at dawn on Friday after the Supreme Court in the South American country found no elements to support his extradition. The "unusual" circumstances" were also present in this case as denounced by Etxeberria himself. He was illegally questioned by the Interpol, there was unjustified delays for his release and he even witnessed the visit of the very Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos. This chain of events made him fear for a negative outcome to his situation, that fortunately, did not come through.
Both cases are evidence of the unflinching efforts by the Spanish regime to bully sovereign states into violating international law regarding the figure of political asylum. That legal frame was seriously damaged by the offensive initiated by the US administration after the 9-11 attacks in the so called "war on terrorism", an offensive that counted with the enthusiastic support of many other states, among them, for obvious reasons, the Spanish state. But time has proved the complete and utter failures of this strategy that violates human rights as a cover up for more devious goals and, more so, its slow but unstoppable lack of support within the international community. A reality that the Spanish state rebuffs obsessed in extending it policy of suppressing the civil liberties beyond its own borders.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Venezuela Denies Extradition of Basque Nationalist to Spain
Mérida, August 5th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) -- On Tuesday evening Venezuela's Supreme Court (TSJ) denied Spain's request for the extradition of a presumed former member of the Basque independence organization ETA, Iñaki Etxeberria.
Spain charged Etxeberria with attempted homicide during an incident in Spain in 1993. On Tuesday, the TSJ ruled the extradition impermissible because the prescripted period in which to try Etxeberria for the crime had expired, according to Venezuelan law.
Etxeberria is a legal permanent resident of Venezuela who has lived in Venezuela for 13 years, having fled what he and his supporters say was political persecution of Basque leaders by the Spanish government. He currently works in a steel factory in Cojedes state.
Venezuela's national investigative police, the CICPC, arrested Etxeberria in late April, fulfilling an order by the international criminal police organization, INTERPOL.
Official police reports say Etxeberria was arrested in Carabobo state on April 25th, the day he first appeared in court. However, his defense lawyers say he was arrested on April 21st in Cojedes state and effectively "disappeared" for four days.
On June 30th, an investigator from the Attorney General's Office argued before the TSJ that Etxeberria's arrest was illegal, and that the charge against him contained factual contradictions and legal irregularities.
Following the investigator's argument, a TSJ decision was expected within 10 days, but the decision was delayed for more than a month. Marco Rodríguez, a defense lawyer for Etxeberria, accused some TSJ judges of "seeking ways to turn him over to Madrid," beyond the official charges. Meanwhile, Etxeberria was held in police custody for more than 100 days until his release on Tuesday.
Etxeberria's defense lawyers called for an investigation of the police who arrested Etxeberria to probe for possible violations of the activist's rights.
Last month, Canada extradited another Basque nationalist, Jose Joaquin Oleaga, who was charged with the same crime as Etxeberria. Soon after, a Spanish court absolved Oleaga and dropped the charges.
Venezuela has previously extradited two presumed ETA militants in 2002. Juan Víctor Galarza Mendiola and Sebastián Etxaniz Alkorta were deported and later jailed in Spain.
According to the Caracas-based Committee for the Liberation of Iñaki Etxeberria, a coalition of more than fifty Venezuelan revolutionary organizations, the TSJ's decision is a victory for the revolutionary forces over the "right wing that disguises itself as pro-Chavez" within the socialist Bolivarian revolution led by President Hugo Chávez.
Over the past month, the Committee held demonstrations and wrote letters urging the denial of Etxeberria's extradition to Internal Affairs and Justice Minister Tarek El-Aissami, National Assembly President Cilia Flores, Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez, and top leaders of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, but received no reply.
The Committee, which includes distinct leftist organizations such as Marea Socialista, C-CURA, the Bolivarian Continental Coordinator, and the political studies department at Venezuela's Bolivarian University, says the government should provide refuge for Etxeberria out of solidarity with the cause of Basque independence, not just because "Bourgeois laws" rule extradition impermissible.
"Beyond this bourgeois legality, we should pressure our government to address these problems in a revolutionary manner," Committee spokesperson Susana Gonzalez told Venezuelanalysis.com. "Someone who struggles for the liberation of his people from two terrorist states like Spain and France should not be criminalized by any revolutionary in the world."
More than 5,000 Basques have been tortured over the last three decades and hundreds remain under arbitrary arrest on suspicion of being ETA militants, according to the Committee.
The United Nations Human Rights Commission has repeatedly reprimanded Spain for the use of torture and preventative detention under the auspices of domestic anti-terrorism laws, and for failing to turn in human rights reports to the U.N. that are mandatory for signatories of the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights.
The Spanish government considers ETA a terrorist organization and blamed the group, which is a clandestine movement as well as a public political party, for the bombing of a Spanish Civil Guard barrack last week. The Venezuelan Foreign Relations Ministry and Chavez himself publicly condemned what it called the "terrorist" attacks.
The attacks came while Venezuelan and Spanish officials and business executives were meeting in Caracas to arrange joint energy production and finalize details in the indemnity payments for the nationalized Bank of Venezuela.
Maybe one day Hugo Chavez will tell the world why he hates the Basques so much. Then we will remind him that his beloved Simon Bolivar was a Basque and how much the Spaniads loath his memory.
Astarloza declares innocence
"I have not taken anything illegal." Something about this case makes no sense.
"I have not taken anything illegal," Mikel Astarloza stated bluntly on Aug 4 at a press conference in Donostia-San Sebastian.
Astarloza read a statement, with family and friends behind him. Both Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and former teammate and current Astana rider Haimar Zubeldia were part of the group showing their support for Astarloza.
Astarloza took no questions after his statement in the course of which he observed that now there is a "biological passport, it is crazy to dope. It would be sporting suicide." He stressed that he has always been "scrupulous" in following rules and has always kept the UCI informed of his whereabouts. He stated that had he intended to dope he would have "provided a false address" or otherwise have avoided UCI-sanctioned testers.
The Euskaltel-Euskadi rider admitted that "I know it is my word against the test lab, but I am innocent." Astarloza added that whatever the result of the investigation he has "lost faith in the system."
At one stage during the press conference, Astarloza held up paperwork reportedly from the Madrid lab that had conducted the test and said "there is evidence to doubt the credibility of the analysis," but he did not elaborate, preferring, he said, to explain what he meant at the "right time."
"I'm completely sure of my innocence. Completely," Astarloza said, promising that "whether the result of the second test is negative, I will not stop until I find out where the result came from. And I will. Whatever if takes, I'll find out."
Astarloza and the team, which has announced that it is standing behind the rider, await results of the B sample, which the rider immediately requested be tested after learning by e-mail from the UCI last Friday of a "non normal" test for EPO in an A sample taken out of competition on June 26.
Now that Mikel Astarloza has spoken, it is legitimate to ask the question "why should we believe this rider when so many other protestations of innocence have turned out to be just so much bluster?"
And this is a good question.
First, it is worth noting that the timing of the Astarloza case couldn't look worse for him. Less than a month before the June 26 out-of-competition test that is at the heart of the case against Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi teammate Iñigo Landaluze tested positive for the third-generation EPO CERA during this year's Dauphiné Libéré.
But here, already, there are notable differences in what happened next. Landaluze issued a statement admitting the results, did not request the B sample be tested, made an explicit statement that no one on the team knew anything about his doping and, essentially, retired from racing. Euskaltel-Euskadi made no comments in support of the rider.
Not so when Astarloza received news of the UCI sanctions last Friday. The team almost immediately posted a statement on its web site expressing its strong support for the Tour de France stage winner. More importantly, the team announced that its support for Astarloza was based not on his word but, rather, on the fact that "after failing to find any abnormality in the internal controls...we will stand by the cyclist and support his innocence until proven otherwise." In other words, other blood and urine tests contemporaneous with the June 26 test show no evidence of EPO use. In this day and age, the team's statement is a remarkably frank expression of support. It also indicates that the foundation which manages the team is confident about its own internal controls.
The team has committed to standing by Astarloza at a time when it is under enormous pressure financially, and the decision to publicly support a rider accused of doping cannot have been taken lightly. Team manager, soon to be president, Miguel Madariaga is struggling to secure sufficient funding beyond 2010. Already, the 2009 squad and its program is smaller than its 2008 counterpart. [Among those affected by that retrenchment was Haimar Zubeldia, who moved to Astana and looks set to go to Radioshack but who nonetheless appeared with Astarloza at the Aug. 4 press conference.]
The foundation is up against two significant challenges. The first is the struggling economy in western Europe, which resulted in a downturn of 2.5% in the first quarter GDP of 2009 in the Basque region of Spain, home to almost all the team's sponsors. Additionally, the most recent elections in the Basque country saw a change in the governing party from a nationalist grouping to one led by the Socialist party with closer ties to Madrid. It's not clear just how much the Socialists will want to continue supporting an implicitly nationalist organization.
The contract extension recently offered Koldo Fernandez through 2010 contains a clause committing him to Euskaltel-Euskadi in 2011 if it continues to hold a UCI pro tour license. This wording suggests the foundation has still not ruled out the option it was exploring last year of racing as a continental squad. It has commitments from ASO, the Tour de France organizers, that it will be invited to participate if it changes its status, and such a change would allow it to shrink its budget, compete in all Basque country events, Le Tour, and, presumably, La Vuelta, and spare it the need to go to Australia, Poland, and other such places far beyond the market of its sponsors. That invitation to the Tour is likely to evaporate if the Astarloza ruling stands.
Sponsors will have an immediate out clause in their contracts in the event of the team getting mired in significant doping scandals, and you only have to look at Liberty Seguros-Würth and Saunier Duval-Prodir to see how quickly sponsors can run.
A cynic would argue at this stage that Euskaltel-Euskadi has no choice but to stand behind Astarloza. If the rider does turn out to have used EPO the future of the foundation and the team would be tenuous at best. The Landaluze case reminded people that in 2001 Txema del Olmo tested positive for EPO and was fired, as, three years later, was Jesus Losa, the team doctor named in the Cofidis affair. Aitor González twice tested positive in 2005 for a methyltestosterone metabolite. González claimed the positive test was the result of a contaminated dietary supplement purchased at a fitness center. He was suspended for two years and has now retired from the sport. 2005 was also the year in which Landaluze famously beat the UCI in a case where he argued that a sample that had returned a positive had been so badly handled by the lab there was no way of telling if the positive result was accurate.
Astarloza being found to have used EPO would, surely, end the team's credibility with too many sponsors. The foundation's only hope, the nay-sayers would claim, is that he somehow gets out from under this mess.
Additionally, after the Pyreneean stages of this year's Tour, Astarloza was frustrated and remarked that "honestly, I don't know what more we can do to win a stage." You might read that as saying that even after doping the results weren't coming.
But Astarloza's frustration can just as readily be read as a positive statement admitting, albeit resignedly, that, as Madariaga put it, Euskaltel-Euskad is fishing for talent in a "small creek" while other teams have the great big sea to draw upon.
Something about this particular case makes very little sense.
Astarloza is one of the thinkers of the peloton. He has already started to make his name as a journalist. He speaks eloquently of Basque aspirations and his statement on August 4 was in both Basque and Spanish. The stage win in this year's Tour de France was enormously rewarding to him as an athlete, but as a professional off the bike with his future ahead of him Astarloza has more to lose by doping than most cyclists. He rides for a team which he says he is "really proud to be part of. We have the name of our country on our jersey...people think about what we represent. Being Basque means you have a feeling. You must have it inside. It's a feeling of someone who loves the country, the language and the culture. It's a matter of pride. People recognize this."
It simply doesn't make sense that an athlete of Astarloza's intellect and experience would opt to use a simple form of EPO in 2009. The tests are established. It's not as if he is accused of using a drug that there was previously no known test for, or that it is an old, stored sample being tested. To use EPO in June 2009 in professional cycling you would have to have a sense of impunity beyond the likes of even Bernard Madoff or a reckless, self-destructive streak Astarloza has shown no sign of possessing. The fact that Haimar Zubeldia and Amets Txurruka joined Astarloza at his press conference indicates that two of those who know him best also appreciate that something about this case makes no sense.
Those internal test results of Euskaltel-Euskadi might just show that, in fact, the case doesn't make sense because it is all one gross error.
Update: After winning stage one of the Vuelta a Burgos, Koldo Fernandez was quoted on the team web site saying "a large part of this win is dedicated to Mikel Astarloza." The foundation has also updated the banner on its web page to prominently display Astarloza winning stage 16 of this year's Tour de France. It's fair to say the team is investing a huge amount of moral authority and taking enormous financial risks. Can anyone name a situation in which so much support has been thrown behind a rider by a team?
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Féile Carnival ParadeAssemble Kennedy Centre
Sunday 2nd August, 12pm – 1pm
Join the Belfast Basque Solidarity Committee with flags and banner to show your support for the Basque Country in the Féile Carnival parade.
ExhibitionSt. Mary’s College, Falls Road.
Monday 3rd August – Friday 7th August.
“Life and Struggle in the Basque Country”, a unique exhibition from the Basque photographers collective Ekinklik detailing life, protest and political action in the Basque country.
‘A Picture Paints a Thousand Words’ LaunchFelons Club, 537 Falls Road.
Monday 3rd August 12 noon
Currently in the Basque country to display an image of a political prisoner publically has been made illegal and can carry a prison sentence of four year for ‘glorifying terrorism’. In solidarity all the images of all the current political prisoners will be displayed in Belfast in opposition the criminalisation process in the Basque Country.
Main speaker: Michael Culbert, Director of Coiste.
Discussion and Debate
“Political persecution in the Basque Country: the cases of Inaki de Juana & Arturo “Benat” Villanueva”An Chultúrlann, 216 Falls Road.
Saturday 8th August 4pm.
Two members of the Basque community living in Belfast are facing extradition to Spain on politically motivated and manipulated charges brought against them by the Spanish government. Other have face similar proceedings across Europe and South America.
This discussion will provide an insight in this particular case and the many others.
Organised by: www.dontextraditethebasques.org
Julen Arzuaga, former director of Behatokia (Basque Human Rights Watch) and charged in one of the show trials, Inaki de Juana, Arturo “Benat” Villanueva and Niall Murphy, from Kevin Winters solicitors.-------
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