Solidarity Week, a gale of solidarity V International Solidarity Week with Euskal Herria is coming to an end breaking the records established in previous years. The international initiative began 4 years ago covering 5 countries in which 10 different events were carried out. Last year, there were 18 countries where solidarity with the Basque people was shown in 80 activities and the general outcome in 2011 was 22 countries and 150 initiatives. Year after year, the participation has increased until the point this year, where more than 5000 friends of Euskal Herria have taken part in lectures, video showings, exhibitions, rallies and demonstrations. Moreover, some of the initiatives such as Andalucía’s Solidarity Week, activities in Venezuela, Uruguay and Argentina and the huge demonstration that will take place in the streets of Milan in Italy the next 26th February, are yet to happen. In total so far there have been more than 5000 people who have taken part in the 150 events carried out in 22 countries. It has to be said that before the V International Solidarity Week, groups from Euskal Herria’s Friends (Euskal Herriaren Lagunak) carried out the “Political Prisoners’ pictures to the streets” campaign taking to the streets in 31 cities around the Globe to support Basque political prisoners’ and refugees’’ the images/pictures: Milano, Berlin, Argentina, Roma, London,
Uruguay, Breizh, Torino, México, Barcelona-Gracia, Firenze, Lisboa, Scotland, Dublin, Derry bloody sunday, Madrid, København (Kopenage), Friuli, Livorno, Pavia, Switzerland, Barcelona-Sants, Lille, Norway, Korsika-Toulon, Korsika-Ajaccio, Sinn Féin photo, Ográ Sinn Féin photo, Bologna, Napoli, Cork.
The Spanish and French States, who oppress and deny the existence of Euskal Herria, also try to silence and hinder the international solidarity. They want us to believe that we are alone in the world. Yet, year after year and week after week, there are more and more Euskal Herria’s Friends groups, they work better and better, our conflict is being given widespread coverage, we are getting to be very well-known all over the world. As time goes by, people are getting to know and appreciate our work. In the same way that the endless repressive attacks have not been able to avoid the conflict to spread all over the world and to be part of the world’s political agenda, after the police operation against Askapena, the solidarity gestures and supportive answer given by groups from Euskal Herria’s Friends has been stronger than ever.
Some facts and figures to take into account: In Switzerland (1st report y 2st report) and Germany many events were organised. 600 and 400 people attended each of these activities respectively. Furthermore, activities were carried out in Denmark and Sweden. In Italy, hundreds of people took part in 35 activities organised in towns and cities all around Italy. At this stage, we have to remember Guido and Arturo, friends of Euskal Herria who were arrested and imprisoned a couple of days before the start of the initiatives. They are still in prison for trying to stop a train that transported nuclear waste. Similarly, the tours in both Spanish and French States have been very successful: in Aragón (4 Round tables), in Madrid (4 events, highlighting the one that took place at the Ateneo, where 120 people were gathered), in Països Catalans (11 meetings in which more than 500 people were gathered). In the French State, in Paris, hundreds of friends gazed at the art exhibition made by Basque political prisoners, protests were carried in Lille, Bordeaux, Britanny and Corsica, apart from 4 round tables, highlighting the fact that 80 people attended the event where Gabi Mouesca was the main speaker.
In the Irish cities of Belfast, Cork, Derry and Dublin different activities were organised throughout the week. In Scotland 80 people took part in lectures given by members of Etxerat and in London, friends of Euskal Herria organised a massive party with the participation of some ‘bertsolaris’ and Basque music bands. There was also a lecture given by Brian Currin and Guillermo Barredo along with several MPs. We would like to highlight the fact that these MPs encouraged people to participate in the events and spread out a solidarity banner in favour of civil and political rights for the Basque People in front of Westminster.
Basque Country’s participation at the International Solidarity Week Another aspect that undoubtedly has to be highlighted is the participation of members of social and political groups of Euskal Herria. In the International Solidarity Week, members from Elkartzen, 8H, Diaspora, Etxerat, Ikasle Abertzaleak, pro-independence youth, Abertzale Left (Ezker Abertzalea), Askapena, Udalbiltza, Group agains the torture (TAT), the director of films “Sagarren denbora” and “Itsasoaren alaba”, produced by GITE-IPES among others. We want to thank you all for all the effort, and especially to the families of prisoners who didn’t visit their beloved because they were taking part in the Week. Your participation in the above mentioned events has been an example to follow, so eskerrik asko! Police harassment As stated in previous years, police’s presence has been the negative issue of the Week, an issue we would like to condemn. The constant harassment has been especially suffered by members of Ikasle Abertzaleak and Askapena in Italy and in Països Catalans. At the same time, we condemn the fact that in the Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese States, Euskal Herria’s friends have felt the criminalisation of solidarity in their own flesh.
Their only answer has been to spread the word and create spaces in which they can keep working. This is the reason why we especially want to thank them for.
Freedom for Arturo and Guido! These two friends of Euskal Herria and organisers of the events for the International Solidarity Week were arrested on the 7th February in the train station of Chiusa Condove of Val de Susa when they were trying to stop a train loaded with highly pollutant nuclear waste. The fact that they’re still on remand has been condemned in Italy as additional revenge due to their internationalist and solidarity nature. Milano: “Tanti popoli un’unica lotta” “Hamaika herri, borroka bakarra!” “Many people, one same struggle!” The annual demonstration “Tanti popoli un’unica lotta” will take place on the 26th February. A demonstration that in previous years has been capable of gathering 3000 people, a figure we hope to beat this year. In this demonstration, delegates and supporters from Kurdistan, Palestine, Abya-Yala and other nations will walk the streets of Milan, even though the solidarity with Euskal Herria is the special protagonist. At last year’s demonstration 300 pictures of Basque political prisoners were shown and this year, several delegates from Euskal Herria have confirmed their attendance: joaldunak, txalapartariak, Askapena delegates, the music band Hesian, and tens of Basque citizens who will attend the demonstration, as well as members from Euskal Herria’s Friends’ groups in Italy. There’s no doubt that this is the most important international event of solidarity towards Euskal Herria and this is way Askapena will carry out a special coverage.