Saturday, January 11, 2014

Basque Country: the Inquisition against the Prisoners Solidarity Movement

Calling for the human tide in Bilbao
A demonstration was called for today in Bilbao. Drop on drop (tantaz tanta) a huge human tide was expected to coalesce today in this city for the rights of Basque prisoners, notably against dispersion.

However the Spanish Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional) has been working hard for it not to happen. 

Step 1: police raids against prisoners' interlocutors

Raid in Bilbao: Mikel Almandoz is arrested
To begin with, on Wednesday, the political tribunal created by Franco to protect the adepts and attack the dissidents, ordered the raid of the office of attorney Arantza Zuluaga in Bilbao, the one of Jon Enparantza in Hernani, as well as of several private homes through the country. Eight people were arrested: Jon Enparantza, Aintzane Orkolaga Aitziber Sagarminaga, Jose Campo, Egoitz López de Lacalle, Mikel Almandoz and Asier Aranguren. 

These are members of a larger group formed a year ago to promote dialogue between Basque political prisoners and the wider society, here and through the World. 

Step 2: violent repression of the protests

The victim of police brutality
The Western Basque autonomous government unleashed its police forces to brutally repress the solidarity with the arrested. 

In Bilbao the police forces under control of the bourgeois regionalists (EAJ-PNV) charged against the people concentrated in Elkano Street, beating a young man so badly that he lost consciousness. 

As usual, they arrested him after that and he was charged with arbitrary accusations (aggression, insults and resistance).

Step 3: prohibition of the human tide

Yesterday inquisitor Eloy Velasco, the same judge directing the rally against the prisoners' interlocutors, declared the demonstration illegal and ordered the various police forces to act accordingly. 

Step 4: the demonstration is recycled to include the bourgeois regionalists

I'm going... or maybe not
The organizers of the Tantaz Tanta human tide decided to obey the inquisitorial ruling in order to prevent the predictable police violence. EAJ-PNV's Interior Councilor J. Erkoreka had not declared publicly how police would behave in case the protest would go ahead but I'm guessing he probably made the message known in private somehow: repression would ensue. 

Instead the major political forces EH Bildu and EAJ-PNV (and their Navarrese sidekick Geroa Bai), along with the major worker unions LAB and ELA, decided to call a joint demonstration half an hour later with a very different slogan: Human Rights, Solution, Peace.

I must say that I'm not going to march along the same elements who implement Spanish inquisitorial repression in this country (EAJ-PNV). While the most read slogan all around is "Ni banoa!" (I'm going), I really do not feel like going at all.

Sources[eu/es]: Naiz Info (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5, link 6, link 7), Berria (link 1, link 2), BDG!

Also: the first-person story of January 8th raids and police takeover of Basque-Brazilian R. Tsavvko can be read (in Portuguese) at his blog (with photos and video). He seems aware that he only got away, after yelling to military police to go away, because he has a foreign passport. It is in any case an interesting first hand report of the quotidian brutality of occupation and repression in this little country.

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