ETA prisoners will once again be the main protagonists in the streets and squares of the Basque Country and Navarra this Saturday thanks to the concentrations called by the pro-ETA environment in about 200 towns in both communities to demand more prison benefits in their favor.
Some mobilizations that will be less massive but more numerous than in other years. And that they will have the presence and support of a party that is part of the Government of Spain, such as Podemos, and of the entire nationalist, independence, secessionist and even unionist spectrum of our country.
In fact, they have already announced that representatives of the PNV and Bildu, the Catalan parties ERC, Junts and CUP and the Galician BNG will participate. Also the Basque unions ELA and LAB and others with national implantation such as Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and the General Union of Workers (UGT).
Nor will the two main associations of secessionism miss it Catalan, Omnium and ANC, among other groups.
All of them will parade together this Saturday afternoon in Bilbao in what will be the main demonstration of the nearly 200 called by the platform of support for ETA prisoners, Sare, in the three Basque capitals, Pamplona, half of the towns of the Basque Country and a quarter of those in Navarra.
And they will do it to coincide and insist on the most urgent demand of the pro-ETA environment, with Bildu at the head: to demand from the central government of the PSOE and United We can more approaches from “all the prisoners” of ETA “Without exception or delay” and more third degrees that make it easier for them to enjoy prison permits and parole to get out of jail. It must be remembered that among those convicted there are many for crimes of blood, such as Henri Parot, who accumulates up to 39 murders behind his back.
This claim is the same that, without going any further, the same pro-ETA and Abertzale environment already claimed last week with similar concentrations during New Year’s Eve in the squares and streets of numerous towns in the Basque Country and Navarra.
The next Saturday is a new version of the great demonstration that, for the same reason, is held in Bilbao every January. Regarding the pandemic, the organizers have decided this year to distribute it to those almost 200 Basque and Navarran towns to avoid a massive concentration in the Bilbao capital.
The events will begin tomorrow in some towns that will advance their respective demonstrations to Friday. But it will be during Saturday when the vast majority of them and the most important are celebrated.
The event will start in the morning at the Euskalduna Palace, Bilbao’s congress center. There a round table has been organized in which victims of ETA, the GAL and the fight against terrorism will participate. The presence of Rosa Lluch, daughter of the former socialist minister assassinated by ETA, is expected. Ernest Lluch; Naiara Zamarreño, daughter of the PP councilor in Renteria, Manuel Zamarreño, also assassinated by the terrorists; Roberto Manrique, victim of the Hipercor attack in Barcelona; Maider García, daughter of Carlos García Goenaga, assassinated by LAGs in Hendaye, and Idoia Zabalza, Mikel Zabalza’s sister, whose death when he was detained by the Civil Guard in the San Sebastian barracks in Intxaurrondo was never fully clarified.
At a press conference held this Monday in Bilbao, the organizers of Sare have assured that, in addition to the political representation of practically all the independence groups in Spain, several victims of “violence” will also attend as listeners, although they have not specified further Names.
The main request continues to be to end a prison policy that they consider «Of exception». “There are still families who have to travel more than 800 kilometers in round trips”, has claimed the spokesman for the group and former Basque councilor, Joseba Azkarraga.
A claim that is substantially deflated after the latest approaches by prisoners approved by the Ministry of the Interior. According to data from the associations themselves in favor of the rapprochement of ETA prisoners, there are no longer any of them in prisons located in the southern half of Spain. And that is why at the press conference they had no choice but to acknowledge that the inmates of the terrorist gang have experienced some improvement, although they describe the steps taken so far as “extremely” slow.
In addition, it must be remembered that, according to data from the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT), last year alone the central government authorized up to 89 approaches by ETA prisoners to the Basque Country and the third degree was granted to eight of them, half of all those that have occurred since Sánchez La Moncloa y Marlaska arrived at the Ministry of the Interior in mid-2018.
These concentrations have been called in some 190 Basque and Navarrese municipalities. The most numerous will be those of its capitals: Bilbao, San Sebastián, Vitoria and Pamplona. And, as usual, the intensity will be different depending on each territory. Álava is where the pro-ETA environment has called the fewest demonstrations: only those of Vitoria and seven other municipalities, in addition to Treviño, head of the county of the same name that belongs to Castilla y León, although located in the province of Alava.
They will have a greater presence in Vizcaya, with demonstrations in more than 50 towns, almost half of those in this province. And where they will be most noticeable is in Navarra and Guipúzcoa, in each of which marches and rallies will be held in more than 60 locations. Thus, this Saturday there will be demonstrations in favor of ETA prisoners in the 70% of the Gipuzkoan municipalities, in almost half of the Biscayan ones and only in 17% of the Alava, in addition to a quarter of the Navarrese.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism