By: Carlos Aznárez / Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / January 14, 2018
Few countries in the world could be home to the scene that we were allowed to see and feel past Saturday in the streets of Bilbao. With a downpour that wouldn’t stop for the whole afternoon, around 95 thousand people, men, women, children and elders, wanted to show once again that the Basque prisoners won’t be forgotten. Even more: they are loved and looked up due to the huge sacrifice they made for having put their lives at the service of national and social liberation at a very young age.
We are talking about Euskal Herria, a country and a people a little over 3 million inhabitants who suffer from the dominance and subjugation of two imperialist States, the Spanish and the French States. A territory that once again wanted to show evidence that the spirit of struggle has not decreased. That the solidarity towards those who struggle inside or outside jails has dignity and a sense of commitment. That despite these times where the most brutal capitalism demolishes the majority of the nations of the planet, provoking many chose to retreat and abandon the struggle in many of the countries of the 5 continents due to tiredness, feeling defeated or for having lost principles on the way.
We refer to patriots of Euskal Herria like Telesforo Monzón, Santi Brouard or José Miguel Beñarán Ordeñana (Argala), genuine representatives of one and many generations that never stopped fighting, and much less in moments when most Spanish politicians (including the leftist ones) betrayed the historic positions and flags and did kneel before the monarchy and the heirs of Francoism. This nation without State, which has its own tongue and flag, wanted and wants to yell to the world that “it doesn’t walk alone” and that is willing to defend tooth and nail the best offspring of the people, condemned to dozens of years in prison.
For all of that, Bilbao was able to presence how the children, the offspring of the imprisoned, marked by the water that blessed their path, with their bags loaded with the hope of seeing their parents soon on their backs, marched in the first row. Behind them, hundreds of relatives, strong as ever, bearing the flag that picks up the desire of the return “home” of the Basque prisoners to join once again the fight to build the country they deserve. Among the crowds and their slogans, other flags of the different peoples within the State and from the world were visible; internationalist solidarity activists who arrived for this occasion invited by the Askapena organization.
It is not easy to describe with words what it means to see and hear the passing of this crowd which is convinced that eventually it will be able to gather once again, but this time to celebrate the amnesty and freedom of the over 300 inmates that are used as hostages by the Spanish fascism. They carry the pain but also the indispensable tenderness that allows them to stay firm as oaks, as El Che Guevara used to say.
Despite the unilateral abandonment of the armed insurgency after 50 years of comprehensive struggle, the conflict still remains. The excuse that the Spanish government always used to apply State terrorism, is no longer applicable and new prisoners have entered jail while others wait to be judge among threats of the application of the anti-terrorist law, that legal engineering created by the sinister judge Baltasar Garzón among others. There are no more weapons nor attacks, but the criminal oppression on behalf of the State remains. This happens because fascism, represented today by Rajoy and yesterday by Franco, or Felipe González and José María Aznar, deeply hates the peoples that stand against them, that won’t submit to their imperial designs. This has always happened to the Basque, but also to the Catalan. Nothing has changed in this despotic Spain that imprisoned José Marti or that many years before sent conquerors to what was later called as Latin America, generating one of the biggest holocausts remembered by humanity, with over 90 million Native peoples murdered.
Before this demonstration of brutality, it is not healthy to abandon the streets, especially so that the prisoners don’t feel that they sacrifice was in vain. The two mobilizations of Saturday that had this objective, the first called for by Sare and the second by the Movement for Amnesty and against Repression, left clear that the courage of people can do more than the countless lies of the powerful, the rulers, their media and their international sponsors. Bilbao witnessed this struggle, and tens of thousands expressed their solidarity towards the prisoners, but also their vindication of feeling neither Spanish nor French. Only and proudly Basque.