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Date Posted: Sat, Mar 03 2007, 18:48:30 PST
Author: To CR Vets
Subject: Police attacks - Basque News

From: Belfast Basque Committee


>Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 12:24:03 +0000>
>Keep up to date on Basque struggle news at:

>Basque police charged on demonstrators in Bilbao's banned rally
> The rally organized Saturday afternoon in Bilbao to demand
>"self-determination" and "amnesty" turned into a pitched battle. Basque
>Police charged with force on demonstrators, while several of them clashed
>with the police. At least 22 demonstratorS were injured. Several of them
>were seen at the Basurto Hospital. An 81-aged woman fractured her pelvis.
>One of Batasuna's leaders, Pernando Barrena was moved to the hospital,
>while Eusebio Lasa had to pass the night in the hospital as consequence of
>a hard blow received to the head. Two demonstrators were arrested, among
>whom the Outlawed Batasuna's member Joseba Permach. He was released before
>midnight.Great tension. Just before the beginning of the rally, Basque police
>authorities said demonstrators they could not hold the rally, as banned by
>Spain's High Court. The rally was organized under the slogan "Hitza eta
>erabakia, lurraldetasuna eta aministia" ("Word and decision, territoriality
>and amnesty"). Seven police vans of the Basque Police and a helicopter
>blocked the beginning of the rally, in which participated outlawed
>Batasuna's spokesman Arnaldo Otegi and former spokesman of Gestoras Pro
>Amnistia Juan Mari Olano among others. In front of the police cordon,
>demonstrators were shouting slogans such as "Bakerik ez, amnistiarik gabe"
>(No peace without aministy), "Euskal presoak, etxera" (Basque prisoners
>home) and slogans supporting the Basque prisoner Iņaki de Juana Chaos. A
>group of demonstrators were carrying a banner with the slogan
>"Self-determination. Amnesty." Basque police deployed a cordon to prevent
>the rally and finally charged on the demonstrators. Several demonstrators,
>journalists and policemen were injured. Ambulances came to see them. Two
>demonstrators were arrested, among whom the Outlawed Batasuna's spokesman
>Joseba Permach.
>Pernando Barrena, spokesman of Basque outlawed party Batasuna, said today
>the brutal charge of the Basque Police during Saturday's banned rally in
>Bilbao was "the great contribution" of the Basque nationalist party PNV and
>its leader Imaz to make feasible the process towards a solution. During a
>statement on Radio Euskadi, Barrena considered Josu Jon Imaz, leader of the
>Basque nationalist party PNV, as "political responsible" of what happened
>during the banned rally in Bilbao.According to him, PNV leader Imaz "send a
>clear message to the socialist government in Madrid" about "how to deal
>with the Basque nationalist movement."Request to Zapatero Batasuna's
>spokesman affirmed that still existed "a serious possibility to resolve the
>conflict," considering necessary the implementation of Spain's Government
>and especially of its president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. During an
>event in the Basque town of Leitza, he said that "despite the difficulties
>and the complicated moment, all opportunities are still open," although he
>warned "the process can't progress beating the Basque nationalist movement
>and with a war strategy." He added the "only recipe" is dialogue.
>One of the injured in Saturday's rally in Bilbao
>The Basque parties clearly disagreed on the incidents of Saturday's rally
>in Bilbao.Mikel Arana, spokesman of the Ezker Batua, demanded Basque
>Department of Interior explanations. Arana qualified the incidents as
>"lamentable" and defended the right of demonstration. After he asked Basque
>police explanations, he called the Basque nationalist movement to "avoid
>confrontations." Unai Ziarreta, leader of Basque party EA, affirmed
>Bilbao's incidents were a negative consequence of the Party Law.The Basque
>party Aralar criticized Basque Police's use of violence and insisted on the
>right of demonstration.The Basque socialist party PSE hold the Basque
>nationalist movement responsible for the incidents. Its leader Miguel Buen
>considered Basque Police "couldn't do anything else."The conservative party
>PP not only hold the Basque nationalist movement responsible, they also
>criticized all those who are backing the peace process. According to its
>leader Antonio Basagoiti the pitched battle proved that "the peace process
>had brought ETA back to life." more photos at:

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