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22/08/2003 :: Madrid

[english] Breaking news - Demonstration in Bilbo, Basque Country

x La Haine - Madrid

12.15 - Bilbo, Basque Country: The demonstration against political Apartheid in Euskal Herria has just began with applauses and leaded by a gigantic ikurriña (basque flag) carried by the members of the comparsas. Thousands of persons are gathered between Moyua Square and Gran Via. There are a lot of journalists and people wear stickers with the "No to apartheid’ slogan. People are chanting "ikurriña bai espainola ez" (ikurriña yes, spanish no), "independentzia" (independence) and other slogans asking for democracy in Euskal Herria.

12.20 - Bilbo, Euskal Herria (Basque Country): At the front of the march well known figures of the Basque left like Otegi, Txomin Ziluaga and Tasio Erkizia can be seen. " independentzia eta sozialismoa " (independence and socialism) chants are continously being heard. Some groups are giving out flyers against Bilbo's mayor, Inaki Azkuna. The demo is now walking up Gran Via.

12.30 - Bilbo, Euskal Herria: A lot of demonstrators are showing posters with the "autodeterminación" slogan and flags of Batasuna, the political party that was illegalised by the spanish state with PNV's, EA's and IU's help. The crowd is shouting "jo ta ke irabazi arte" (hit until victory) and slogans is support of the basque political prisoners. The march, that is aproaching the Plaza Circular, is being cheered up by comparsa members wearing their coloured comparsa shirts, mixed with persons of all ages. There is no police presence at the time being.

12.34 - Bilbo, Euskal Herria: Slogan shouting and chanting are not stopping at any moment. Slogans against PNV are being heard as the march comes near to the city hall, marching through Buenos Aires street. The participation in the demo is so massive that from the head of the demo one can not see the end of it. A helicopter of the ertzaintza (basque autonomic police) is flying over the demonstration.

12.45 - Bilbo, Euskal Herria: The crowd is begining to gather in the square in front of Bilbo's city hall, where a stage has been set upfor the final act, with a huge copy of the poster calling to the demo and the "no apartheid, autodeterminazioa" slogan. Numerous journalists, photographers and TV crews are covering the demo. The music that comes from the sound system gives color to the march, to which people are still arriving.

12.50 - Bilbo, Euskal Herria: Thousands ans thousands of persons are still gathering at Bilbo's city hall's square. A couple city's police can be seen but not the ertzaintza, except for the helicopter flying over the crowd.

13. 20 - Bilbo, Euskal Herria: At the city hall's square music has stopped and bertsolaris have made their appearence, singing verses of political content, with applauses from the crowd. It's hot, it's a sunny morning. The abertzale member of parlament Jone Goirizelaia has read a text, thanking the "presence of thousands of abertzales here today" and saying that " we will go on, no matter repression". She's spoken of what happened yesterday in the comparsas txoznas (police raided some of the txoznas) and had critical words for the fascist policies that allow "this actions of masked police breaking banners, pictures of prisoners and ikurriñas. They are fascists" while people shouted "herriak ez du barkatuko" (people will not forgive). After the speech a young woman has stepped on stage to say a few words and then the multitude has peacefully started to leave, but not before singing the "eusko gudariak" with their left fists raised.

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