Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spain accepts that Basque Nationalist Left's party (Sortu) is legal

Sortu's legal representatives upon the inscription of the party (2011)
The Spanish Constitutional Court has resolved that the banned political party Sortu is legal. The decision, of which not all the details are yet known, was taken with a very tight vote: 6 to 5 (three judges issued particular votes). 

Sortu (which means "to create") was registered a year ago, already within the frame of the unilateral ceasefire of ETA, but was declared illegal soon after by the Supreme Court, which considered it continuation of the also banned Batasuna (which it is, of course), one of the two major Basque political parties (which for the Spanish tribunal was just "a tool of ETA and part of ETA", go figure!)

By means of banning Batasuna and all its successors the Spanish courts effectively destroyed any form of democracy in the Southern Basque Country, rendering all institutions as non-representative as under Fascism. Various attempts to circumvent this political repression (Communist Party of the Basque Peoples, Democracy 3 Million or the historical party Basque Nationalist Action were all forbidden), even the wider coalition Bildu (later Amaiur, later EH Bildu), that includes other parties, was under threat of illegalization, which did not materialize after all, allowing for a change a semblance of democratic elections for town halls and provincial councils last year (elections that ratified the social strength of the Nationalist Left). 

Meanwhile many political activists, of high or low profile, real or imaginary, have been arrested and sent to jail for expressing their opinions or trying to exert their civil rights. 

The legalization of Sortu is one step in the right direction by the occupant power but it still has to take many many more steps in the sense of recognition of the democratic rights of the Basque People before we can consider that Spain is not anymore the sworn enemy of the Basque People. 

Refs. Naiz[es], Berria[eu], Branka[eu], Ateak Ireki[es] (with video of a historical discourse by Arnaldo Otegi, with English subtitles in the CC options).

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