The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.61/No.28           August 25, 1997 
20,000 March For Basque Rights In Spain  

Some 20,000 people demonstrated in San Sebastián, Spain, July 27 to support the fight for self-determination of the Basque people and demand the transfer of around 600 Basque political prisoners to the northern region. The rally in the Basque region was in response to the reactionary Spanish government-organized mobilizations in mid-July. Those demonstrations protested the kidnapping and execution of bourgeois politician Miguel Angel Blanco by Basque Homeland and Liberty, known by its Basque initials ETA. The government is using the marches to push through laws to crack down on fighters for Basque independence.

The youth organization of the nationalist party Herri Batasuna (Popular Unity Party) led the march. "They wanted to sweep us off the street - here is our answer," said demonstrator Floren Aoiz. Only hours after the march, about 30 hooded thugs firebombed the demonstration's barricades injuring one woman.

The Basque people are an oppressed nationality who have fought for independence from Spain and France for three decades. Since the death of fascist dictator Gen. Franco of Spain, the Basque people and the region have won some autonomy, including a bourgeois nationalist-run government in charge of "security" in the region, but not full self- determination. Nearly 600 Basque political prisoners are scattered around France and Spain. Madrid has long refused to move Basque political prisoners to the northern region and end the policy of dispersing prisoners across the country.

In its coverage of these developments, the big-business press around the world generally leaves out the recent publicity surrounding what is commonly called the Spanish government's "dirty war."

In a July 11 interview with the New York Times, former prime minister of Spain, Felipe González, admitted that while he was in office illegal actions by state-sanctioned and militarily supported death squads targeted and killed Basque militants and supporters. From 1983-1987 so-called Anti-Terrorist Liberation Groups killed 27 people.  
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