Sunday, December 18, 2016

Kafka in the land of the Basques: five arrested for destroying ETA's arsenal

Five people were arrested in Luhuso (Labourd) on Friday night for the "crime" of destroying the arsenal of Basque guerrilla ETA, which "definitively" abandoned armed struggled five years ago but is unable to find an interlocutor to proceed to disarmament and dissolution. 

The five arrested are Jean-Noël Etcheverry, “Txet” (nonviolent ecologist), Michel Berhocoirigoin (farmer union activist), Béatrice Molle-Haran (journalist and owner of the house where the activity took place), Michel Bergougnan (member of Irulegi) y Stéphane Etchegaray, “Etxe” (cameraman in charge of filming the police op). 

Also Michel Tubiana, Honorary President of the Ligue des Droits de l'Homme, is involved in the group of peace activists but he could not arrive to the scene of the police operation in time, so he remains free so far. 

Solidarity march in Donibane-Garazi

The team, self-named "Bakea EHn" (Peace in the Basque Country) in the Twitter account they used as improvised press office on Friday night, and renamed "Artisans for Peace" by the popular protests that have taken place yesterday, had been destroying 15% of ETA's arsenal since October 3rd, in what was intended as a first batch of a longer process, now aborted by Spanish and French police forces. 

Their equipment seems to have been a workbench with a radial saw and some other tools. 

The Artisans for Peace declared themselves as members of civil society, without any link nor subordination to ETA, who had decided to begin the disarmament process with the destruction of a first stock of weapons

This process, initially intended to be more open and under supervision of the international mediator group, including half a dozen global personalities, was once and again aborted by the Spanish and French states and five years have passed since ETA famously declared the definitive end to armed struggle without any progress. 

It is quite symptomatic that members of the Basque civil society eventually decided to take upon their shoulders the burden of ensuring the end of ETA in spite of the French and Spanish authorities, and even more hard to believe, truly kafkian, that these two occupant powers of our country, have stopped it via repression, repression that has not ceased anyhow in these five years. 

I presume they will be accused now of "collaboration with terrorist organization", and be labeled by the Inquisition and their parrot media as "ETA members", as so often happens when you are Basque and do not think like they command you to think. In fact we are before prisoners of conscience trying to do the job that the occupant powers, which seem to desire a return to war, are not doing not allowing others to do. 

But they will once and again repeat in a choral fashion: "what ETA must do is to disarm itself and self-dissolve". How when Madrid and Paris are doing everything to impede it? How?

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