Askatasun = Freedom! Basque activists in Dublin tell their stories...
18 Aug 2004 19:24 GMT
Downloadable audio MP3 report - 64kbps 22Mb duration 37:36 Downloadable audio MP3 report - 64kbps 22Mb duration 37:36 Four Basque activists visited Dublin last night for an evening of information & discussion in the Teachers Club, Parnell Square, on the current political climate in the Basque Country; while back in Euskal Herria, the police went about dismantling a Basque autonomous centre, with housing activists and squatters doing their best to defend the building from demolition... Download the MP3 audio report from radio.indymedia.org The Basque Country is a region that ovelaps the north east corner of the Spanish and south west corner of the French states. It is comprised of seven counties. The Basque language is one of the oldest in Europe; not related to any of the major Indo-European language groups, its origins are unknown. The Basque people have been involved in political struggles for many generations, most notably during the Franco years, when the fascist regime in Spain put the population under considerable strain, suppressing their culture and autonomy. Hiart Gilde San Vicente is the first speaker in the audio report from the banned political party Batasuna. She is the party's representative in their London office. Batasuna was outlawed through newly enacted legislation by the Spanish Government for alleged links with ETA, and was not permitted to campaign in elections. Hiart talks about the last few years for Batasuna, recent developments, and elections where Batasuna called for the public to spoil their vote as a show of support. She also deals with aspects of the political fallout from the March 11th bombing in Madrid, and how moderate Basque nationalists were first to blame ETA for political gain. Eyoitz Lizundia is the second speaker in the audio report, from the Basque prisoner support network Askatasuna. The Spanish state actively places Basque prisoners in jails hundreds of miles from their families and homes. This causes undue amount of economic and mental hardship on the prisoners families, who have to make long journeys to visit them. Basque prisoners are also denied any rights of association within the prison system in Spain and France, being placed in isolation or housed in different prison wings. Loren Mendigabal is the third speaker in the audio report. She served time in a French prison and spoke of how there is a campaign of both psychological and physical torture within the prison system against Basque political prisoners. Askatasuna is calling for a repatriation of all Basque political prisoners to the Basque country. They are also working to involve the prisoners as much as possible in the peace process. During the Q+A session, Hiart told the 30 people in attendance of the current situation with an autonomous centre/squat under attack by Spanish police. The police turned up in force with riot shields to accompany the bulldozers. You can read more about this here Stop torture of Basque Prisoners Gara.Net English Version Photos from the eviction: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/aug2004/basque1.jpg