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 Post subject: Basques
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:41 pm 
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Yes, I know Basques aren't Celts...

http://dametzdesign.com/euzkadi.html#My ... %20Legends

Story of the Basque flag (based on Union Jack!)

"Historically, the flag of Bizkaia was red. When Sabino Arana created the ikurrina, he wanted to give it the meaning Bizkaia, independence and God, so the red color of the field represents Bizkaia or Euskadi, the green St. Andrew's cross stands for the The Independence of the Basque Country. It is green because it also symbolizes the oak tree of Gernika, the symbol of Basque freedom. The white cross represents God.

"The green St. Andrew's cross: In the Middles Ages (year 867), there was a battle between the Basques and the Spaniards in a place called Padura. This battle was on St. Andrew's day. The stones of the place were stained with blood and since that day that place has been called Arrigorriaga (Place of red stones). It is not clear if this battle is historical or legendary, but the St. Andrew's cross has often been used in Basque flags, like those of the Consulate of Bilbao, The Naval flag of Biscay, and in some Carlists flags during the Carlists wars (1836-1876)."

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:16 pm 
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IMO they should be regarded as honourable Celts. Just like the Celtic peoples they are a small nation within a large imperialist nation.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:35 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asCIIAJJZQk

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I am now convinced that Scotsmen must decide in the near future whether they wish to be citizens of a free country or citizens of a rather stale music-hall joke. And I am quite certain that no middle course is possible.
Archibald G Macdonell (1896-1941)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:51 am 
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Ach Dang !!!! here was me thinkin this was gonna be a thread about wimmins lingerie :lol: :lol: :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:25 pm 
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albagubeavis wrote:
Ach Dang !!!! here was me thinkin this was gonna be a thread about wimmins lingerie :lol: :lol: :wink:


If you were looking for a thread then the article was about to fall apart :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:44 pm 
albagubeavis wrote:
Ach Dang !!!! here was me thinkin this was gonna be a thread about wimmins lingerie :lol: :lol: :wink:


You mean like this?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:51 pm 
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:shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm going to register on there once I get the camera to work :cool:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:00 pm 
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MacMadd wrote:
albagubeavis wrote:
Ach Dang !!!! here was me thinkin this was gonna be a thread about wimmins lingerie :lol: :lol: :wink:


You mean like this?


:lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:15 pm 
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Here's a video from different events held throughout Europe in support of the situation in the Basque Country.

http://www.askapena.org/jardunaldinternazionalistak07



Basque Solidarity Campaign
(Scotland)

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"The thistle rises and forever will" - MacDiarmid

NB - I am not the same person as the poster "Scottish republic".


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:51 pm 
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Keep up to date on Basque struggle news at:

http://www.irishbasquecommittees.blogspot.com

Listen to Basque Info at http://www.feilefm.com on line every Tuesday from 6.30-7pm.

Basque Solidarity Campaign
(Scotland)

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"The thistle rises and forever will" - MacDiarmid

NB - I am not the same person as the poster "Scottish republic".


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 Post subject: Re: Basques
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:27 pm 
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Interesting video documentary from YouTube. Some interviews are not translated but it gives a good background and insight into the Basque struggle and ETA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGCV_3bg9K8

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I am now convinced that Scotsmen must decide in the near future whether they wish to be citizens of a free country or citizens of a rather stale music-hall joke. And I am quite certain that no middle course is possible.
Archibald G Macdonell (1896-1941)


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 Post subject: Re: Basques
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:09 pm 
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From Wikipedia - The history of the Basque People.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Basque_people#The_Franco_dictatorship

Quote:
The Franco dictatorship
With the war over, the new dictator began his drive to consolidate Spain as a monolithic nation-state. Franco's regime passed harsh laws against all minorities in the Spanish state, including Basques, aimed at wiping out their cultures and languages. Calling Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa "traitor provinces", he abolished what remained of their autonomy. Navarre and Álava were allowed to conserve a small local police force and limited tax prerogatives.

Two developments during the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975) deeply affected life in the Basque Country in this period and afterwards. One was a new wave of immigration from the poorer parts of Spain to Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa during the sixties and seventies in response to the region's escalating industrialisation. The resulting imposition of Spanish language and cultural values and widespread attitudes of Spanish political chauvinism represented further obstacles to Basque attempts to resist the Spanish regime's offensive to stamp out expressions of a distinctive Basque identity.


Sound familiar??

Here's another couple of interesting letters from the Scottish Independence Guide.


http://www.scottishindependence.com/basque_country_independence.htm


Blame the Basques' Madrid coverage was biased nonsense

17/03/2004

Sir,

I am writing to complain about The Scotsman's slanderous attacks on the Basque people last week. These began with a spectacularly ill judged piece of 'political analysis' by Fraser Nelson which deliberately rubbished the aspirations of Basque nationalists.

Mr Nelson's description of the Basque people's treatment by Spain as acts of 'rough love' was in particularly poor taste. This 'rough love' in fact extends to torture, unlawful imprisonment, the banning from political activity of Batasuna and their candidates and the shutting down of Basque language newspapers and the imprisonment and torture of their proprietors.

Mr Nelson then had the incredible nerve (in a Scottish newspaper no less!) to suggest that perhaps Tony Blair might decide to follow former Spanish PM Aznar's example and treat Scottish nationalists in the same fashion!

If elections were held under similar conditions in Scotland to those that exist in the Basque country, then the Tories would be the only ones standing while the SNP and SSP would be barred!

As for the follow up coverage of the Madrid bombings, if Mr Aznar himself had written these articles himself they could hardly have been more biased or one-sided or more prejudiced against Basque nationalism.

Stuart Kirkpatrick on your website, in his Heroes and Villains column said "If ETA really cared about Basque independence then it would put it efforts into activities that might deliver it, like political campaigning". This statement shows a total lack of knowledge of the Basque political situation, if Sinn Fein were completely banned from politically campaigning in Northern Ireland I very much doubt this would have led to the IRA becoming involved in a peace process!

Many other newspapers made similarly illogical statements and all of them seemed to equate every Basque nationalist with ETA. This is about as silly as saying every member of the SNP is also an SNLA terrorist.

Former Spanish PM Aznar's denial of the rights to self determination for the Basque country is in direct contradiction of Article One of the UN Charter which specifically guarantees the rights of small nations to their independence.

It is more than likely that Basques and Catalans were murdered in the Madrid attack by Al Qaeda. I am sure most Basques were utterly horrified by this atrocity.

Basques living in Scotland however must also have been horrified to see Scottish newspapers pin the blame to all Basque nationalists without any evidence whatsoever. If the Scotsman writes any future articles about Basque nationalism I hope they will employ accredited journalists who are willing to do some basic research.

Yours faithfully,

Joe Middleton


Democracy destroyed in the heart of Europe by Jo Harvie

When is a political party not a political party? When it's Batasuna, the organisation which campaigns for both socialism and independence in the Basque Country, in the north of Spain.

"I suppose it's a combination of a political party and a movement", explains Alan McCombes, who recently visited the Basque Country with another SSP member, Lloyd Quinan, on the invitation of Batasuna.

"It includes different component parts. There's a youth movement, a women's organisation, newspapers, radio stations. The trade union federation that they're linked to organises 32,000 workers, about 16 per cent of the workforce. They have about 5000 to 7000 people active in the different elements of Batasuna, organised into 200 branches."

All that, and Batasuna has been functioning illegally for the last three years, since it was banned by the right-wing Spanish government of Aznar. When Batasuna was illegalised, they had 60 mayors of towns and villages, 860 councillors, 40 regional councillors, 14 parliamentary deputies (MPs) in the Basque autonomous parliament, one Euro MEP and around 15 per cent of the vote - about 200,000 votes. "Aznar's ban", says Alan, "represented a massive onslaught by the Spanish state against those forces that were fighting for independence and socialism in the Basque Country."

"Many of their leaders were arrested, using the pretext of terrorism and ETA - even though they have no links. I met several people who had just been released from prison, who were elected mayors of towns, some of them quite elderly women. They had been imprisoned for one and a half years but they were never put on trial."

The Basque people's struggle for independence from Spain has been long and bloody. Under the fascist dictator Franco, people were executed for speaking Basque and gravestones inscribed in Basque were erased. In the 1960s, resistance in the Basque Country to the fascist Spanish regime took the form of an armed struggle.

"The problem is that, after Franco died, there never was any real peace process or any attempt to deal with the fact that Spanish jails were packed with young Basques who'd taken up arms against Franco."

"The governments that have replaced him have explicitly denied the right of the Basque people, and of the people of Catalonia and Galicia, to self-determination."

The Spanish constitution allows for autonomy and established the Basque and Catalan parliaments. But it also insists that devolution goes this far and no further.

It explicitly upholds the "territorial integrity" of Spain - it says that Spain is an indivisible country and cannot be broken up, and any attempt by anybody to bring about the division of Spain is regarded as a treasonable offence.

"The thing is," Alan continues, "the Basque Country is one of the economic powerhouses of the Spanish state. Without the Basque Country and Catalonia, Spain would be virtually a third world country in terms of its economic development."

Although there's been no solution to the violent element of the struggle for independence, it has become more marginalised in recent years, with the emphasis very much on the political struggle and mass civil disobedience.

"Batasuna as a movement is right now about three things - promoting independence, promoting socialism and class struggle, and trying to find a peaceful way forward. But they also understand that it will be difficult to get a peaceful resolution unless the issue of the prisoners is dealt with and unless some democratic channels are opened to allow the people of the Basque country to express their right to self-determination."

Before the crackdown, when Batasuna controlled dozens of councils, their methods were crucial in establishing their roots in Basque communities. They threw open the town halls, holding referenda on controversial issues and building grassroots participatory democracy. Batasuna's commitment to peaceful direct action is also a clear indication of their class-based politics.

Their youth movement, SEGI, which is also illegal, has an impressive track record. "One of the things that struck me was their campaign to establish 'youth houses'," recalls Alan, with an enthusiastic grin spreading over his face.

"They take over derelict buildings, in some cases battling with the Civil Guard - the national armed police force - to secure them. Then they transform them into youth centres."

"There's one place in Arrunya, Pamplona, a five-storey building that they took over a few years ago and spent weeks battling with the police who were trying to evict them."

"They held the building and today it has a restaurant, a bar, a concert hall, a pilota court - pilota is the national sport of the Basque Country - and it's a huge youth centre."

"Lloyd and myself briefly visited a youth camp in the mountains organised by SEGI. There were 7000 young people there in a totally illegal gathering. It perhaps won't be a surprise to learn that one of Alan's other favourite experiences of Batasuna's organisation was their People's Taverns' - café-bars run much like social clubs."

"They were closed down but most of them have just reopened - the state hasn't been able to enforce the ban. The reason for that is the strength of support for the pro-independence left movement in the Basque Country."

Although the objective conditions for Batasuna and the Scottish Socialist Party are obviously very different, Alan believes we share a lot of common ground, and that the SSP can learn a lot from this vibrant organisation.

"The national question is much more intense than it is in Scotland - it dominates everything in the Basque Country. But the pro-independence left have very strongly linked their struggle for independence with class politics on the ground."

"Their slogan, independence and socialism', is seen everywhere, in the people's taverns, on the streets, on the walls, with a red star which is remarkably identical to the red star logo of the SSP."

"Batasuna continue to promote redistribution of wealth. Their analysis of globalisation is very similar to ours. Their analysis of the European union is very close to the SSP's manifesto for the forthcoming European elections."

"They haven't flinched from taking up difficult social issues. They argue very forcibly for equality for women, including for abortion rights. They oppose homophobia and strongly argue for gay and lesbian rights."

Considering that the Basque Country is such a magnet for migration, Alan also wanted to find out what the pro-independence left's attitude was to immigration and asylum.

"In their eyes, anybody who lives in the Basque Country is Basque. They welcome asylum seekers, and migrants from other parts of Spain. At the same time they do promote the Basque culture and language, which has undergone an incredible revitalisation over the last decade in particular."

Flowing through Batasuna and its movement's component parts is a vivacious culture fusing language, community campaigns, direct action, wealth redistribution and a passionate fight for justice and national self-determination.

And that's why they're not just a political party... they're a different kind of party altogether.

_________________
I am now convinced that Scotsmen must decide in the near future whether they wish to be citizens of a free country or citizens of a rather stale music-hall joke. And I am quite certain that no middle course is possible.
Archibald G Macdonell (1896-1941)


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