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Newsletter (in English)


On October 4, there will be a mass demonstration in Bilbo (Bilbao) against the wave of repression which is hitting the left-wing independence movement in the Basque Country. In the last weeks, the Spanish state has banned two Basque political parties: the EHAK (Euskal Herrialdeetako Alderdi Komunista, Communist Party of the Basque Territories) and the EAE (Eusko Abertzale Ekintza, Basque Patriotic Action).

This follows the ban of the party Batasuna (Unity) in 2003, the criminalization of the youth organization SEGI, the closure of radio stations and newspapers and the arrests of thousands of people. Also in France, where Batasuna remains a legal political party, a number of party activists have been arrested. It’s possible the party will be banned there too.

Many people believe that EHAK or Batasuna have been connected to the armed group ETA. But the Spanish state has never presented any evidence linking them. Rather, the bans are based on the absurd argument that anymore who shares the general goals of the ETA (self-determination and socialism for the Basque Country) is a member of ETA!

At the moment, it is unclear whether the demonstration of October 4th will be possible because countless demonstrations in the last years have been violently attacked by police. We want to send a message of solidarity to everyone who will demonstrate in Bilbo. We want to wish them strength to face the police repression in the Spanish and French states.

We call on all left-wing organizations to protest against this wave of repression! These so-called “anti-terrorism laws” are used not only against the Basques – all across Europe they form the legal basis for repression against Muslim immigrants and left-wing movements. You don’t have to totally agree with the ezkerra abertzale (pro-independence left) in order to condemn this repression.

Our solidarity with the Basque movement is also critical, because don’t agree with nationalism (even a left-wing nationalism of an oppressed people) or the perspective of first fighting for independence for the Basque Country and then fighting for socialism. Our goal is to unite the oppressed across all borders as the only way to achieve an end to capitalism and an end to all forms of oppression.

  • For international protests against the repression in the Basque Country!
  • For the right of self-determination of all oppressed peoples!
  • For a socialist Europe, based on a free union of peoples!
  • For a revolutionary youth international to unite the struggles of youth around the world!

REVOLUTION International Coordination, October 3, 2008

Source: Kamaradak

5 Responses to “Solidarity with the left-wing movement in the Basque Country!”

  1. Kamaradak Says:

    Ciertamente se le atribuye a la izquierda independentista vasca, no dar prioridad a la lucha por el socialismo.
    La verdad es que la base social de la izquierda independentista está volcada en proyectos sociales, medioambientales, sindicales, migrantes, al fin y al cabo en proyectos de construcción social y nacional. seguramente y mediaticamente está implicación no tienen el mismo reflejo en los medios, porque no les interesa la imagen social de la izquierda independentista.
    De todas formas, hoy día podemos afirmar que estamos en una coyuntura que las conculcaciones de libertades básicas y derechos básicos requieren dar una prioridad a estos temas.
    un saludo

  2. wladek Says:

    Here’s a rough translation of the above comment:

    Certainly it is attributed to the Basque pro-independence left that we do not give priority to the struggle for socialism.
    The truth is that the social base of the pro-independence left is linked to social, environmental, labor, migrants’ projects, and finally also to projects of social and national construction. Certainly this involvement isn’t reflected in the media because they are not interested in the social image of the pro-independence left.
    In any case, today we can say that we are at a juncture where the violations of basic freedoms and basic rights require giving priority to these issues.

  3. wladek Says:

    aupa, kamaradak!

    We’ve been working with the Basque left for a number of years (we were at the Gazte Topagunea for the first time in 2004), so we know about that it is not a purely nationalist movement, as it is presented in the media. We have studied Basque history, especially the history of the Basque workers’ movement, so we know about EMK, ETA VI/LKI etc. We even know to say “pro-independence left” instead of “nationalist left”. A Basque comrade we worked with explained that of his political work, 95% involved social questions and only 5% the national question.

    We do as much solidarity work as our small forces allow, but we remain critical of the Basque movement. Our perspective is one of uniting the working class across borders, i.e. uniting Basque workers with their Spanish and French class siblings. But as we wrote in our flyer, “such unity can only be based on a mutual recognition of rights, including the right of all oppressed peoples to self-determination.” And it’s clear that the leaders of the Spanish workers’ movement have betrayed the Basques again and again (supporting the Spanish constitution, the Law of Parties (“Lex Batasuna”), etc.).

    We recognize the extremely difficult circumstances you work under – the constant repression, the lack of legal political parties – and the need to fight against the “unofficial state of emergency”. But we believe the Basque movement needs to put social demands in the forefront in order to link up with workers’ struggles throughout the Spanish state and the European Union – against precarious jobs, against price hikes, against low wages, against factory closings… Purely democratic demands won’t create such links, because the mass of the workers, unfortunately, cannnot be mobilized for questions of democracy or self-determination simply because they are not subject to (or in many cases even familiar with) the very high level of repression in the Basque Country.

    It’s the fault of the PSOE, PCE and Co. that the Basque and Spanish workers’ movements are divided – no doubt about that. But the Basque workers’ movement could still take steps to overcome this rift by, for example, appealing to the base members of PCE/IU to protest their party’s silence in the face of this repression. But this means creating a movement accessible to Basques and non-Basques (you can’t have all the material in Euskera!), because in the end we need international trade unions and an international revolutionary organization, to combine the struggles against all forms of oppression into a struggle against the capitalist system.

    Please don’t understand us wrong – we have gotten a lot of inspiration from you, like from the huge youth festivals that are organized illegally. But we think revolutionary internationalism offers the only way to self-determination and freedom!

    red greetings,
    Wladek, from REVOLUTION

  4. Nineu Says:

    Actually I can`t agree with the approach of “internationalism” I see in REVOLUTION. Of coursse, I have no doubt about your good intentions. But I believe that internationalism must be bassed in solidarity among peoples. But ussually when Spanish/ French progresists or revolutionaries talk of “equality” they talk about equality in Spanishness/Frenchness. They ask us to leave our identity behind and to “integrate” in the “modern world” where Spanish/French languages are the universal languages (so our language is only a sectary reminiscence of past, useful maybe for “kitchen talk” but not certainly for meaningfull talk. And thats something we can´t accept, we believe that every people must have the right to develope and preserve its own culturein conditions of respect and solidarity with the other people in world. We will never accept an “imperialist socialism” and whilest things change in the metropolies our only choice (if we want to survive in a context where we are the weakest ones) is to seek independence, and the right to exist on our own. If we achieve these goal maybe we will be able to try to cooperate with our French/Spanish comrades but first we need to assure our survival and a possition of equality, and nowadys these is not possible.

  5. Iraultza, Revo Says:

    The comment was published in the latest issue of the REVOLUTION paper in Germany ( along with the following answer:

    REVOLUTION unconditionally supports the right of self-determination for oppressed nations. That means that only the inhabitants of the Basque Country should decide which language they speak, in which state they live etc. We respect that many Basques speak Euskera, which is why we have published some of our texts in the Basque language. For us, equal rights – also in questions of language – are a central condition for the emergence of a united revolutionary movement of the youth and the working class across all borders.

    However, the problems of the Basque youth today (unemployment, expensive housing etc.) are problems that can be found in all of Europe. That is why it’s so important that left-wing youth and workers in all countries of Europe cooperate. We will fight for the recognition of the Basques’ right to self determination so that this cooperation can be between equal partners. But the Basque left also needs to fight for international unity – now, and not sometime in the distant future.

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