Saturday, January 31, 2015

İspanyol Baskısına Karşı Devasa Bask Gösterileri

İsyandan, 31 Ocak 2015 Cumartesi 

Duroyan Fertl

İspanya devletinin Bask tutsaklara karşı işlediği insan hakları ihlâllerini protesto için 10 Ocak’ta Bilbao’da bir yürüyüş gerçekleşti.


Bask Ülkesi’ndeki yurttaşlık hakları savunucuları ve avukatlar da İspanya devletinin sürdürdüğü baskılara karşı 17 Ocak’ta, bir Bask şehri olan Donostia’da, yaklaşık 33,000 kişinin katıldığı bir protesto yürüyüşü gerçekleştirdi.

Üzerinde “İnsan Hakları, Çözüm, Barış” yazılı büyük bir pankartın altında yürüyen eylem kitlesi, bağımsızlık yanlısı Bask sol koalisyon EH Bildu ile sendika üyeleri ve Bask siyasi tutsakları destekleyenleri de barındırıyordu.

Kitlesel gösteri, 12 Ocak tarihinde Bask Ülkesi ile Nafaroa ve Madrid’de Guardia Civil (İspanya’nın oldukça siyasileşmiş jandarması) tarafından gerçekleştirilen tutuklamalara bir tepkiydi.

12 Bask avukatın yanı sıra yasaklanan tutsak dayanışma örgütü Herrira’yla bağlantılı olduğu iddia edilen dört kişi daha tutuklandı. Polis, Bilbao’daki sol-milliyetçi Bask sendikası Milliyetçi İşçiler Komitesi’nin (LAB) ofisleri de dahil olmak üzere, İspanya genelinde bina aramaları yaptı. Tutsak hakları kampanyalarından toplanan 90,000 Avro üzerindeki yasal bağışa el konuldu.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Euskal Herria: Huge rallies protest Spanish state repression

33,000 march for peace and civil liberties in Donostia
On January 17, 33,000 people marched through the Basque city of Donostia (San Sebastián) to protest ongoing Spanish state repression against independence and civil rights activists and lawyers in the Basque Country.

Marching under a large banner that read "Human Rights, Resolution, Peace," the demonstration was made up of members of the Basque pro-independence left coalition EH Bildu, various trade unions and supporters of Basque political prisoners.

The mass protest was a response to a series of arrests carried out by the Guardia Civil (Spain’s heavily politicised military police) on Monday January 12 throughout the Basque Country, in Nafarroa and in Madrid.

Early in the morning, twelve Basque lawyers were arrested, as were four people allegedly linked to the banned prisoners’ support organisation Herrira. Police searched a number of premises across Spain, including those of the left-nationalist Basque trade union LAB in Bilbao, and over 90,000 euros in legal donations was confiscated.

Those detained were charged with tax fraud, money laundering and membership of a terrorist organisation. Thirteen of those arrested were soon released on bail, but have been forbidden from leaving the country, or communicating with prisoners.

The Interior Ministry has also accused them of passing instructions from the armed separatist group ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna – “Basque Homeland and Freedom”) to imprisoned members of the organisation.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Germany: anti-Islamic PEGIDA rally draws 25,000 but is outnumbered by counter-protests

PEGIDA protesters in Dresden
Since October last year, Germany has become increasingly polarised, as weekly marches by a new right-wing movement opposed to a perceived “Islamisation” of Europe continue to grow by their thousands – a growth now matched by counter-protests nationwide.

The organisation – PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes or “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident”) – was founded in October after an anti-Islam march in Dresden organised by 41-year-old Lutz Bachmann through Facebook.

While the first march only attracted three hundred supporters, PEGIDA has held rallies in Dresden every Monday since, with numbers swelling to 18,000 on January 5. On January 12, in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, they reached a record 25,000.

The regularity of the protests is a conscious appropriation of the “Monday demonstrations” of the pro-democracy movement in the former East Germany in 1989, which also grew rapidly and eventually led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the East German government.

As well as attracting a variety of conservative and islamophobic elements of German society, PEGIDA also operates as an umbrella for a number of right-wing groups, including the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), as well as other neo-Nazi groups and right-wing football hooligans.

While PEGIDA claims not to be racist or right wing, Ralf Jäger, SPD interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, has dubbed the protesters “neo-Nazis in pinstripes", and the protests are widely viewed as thinly-concealed expressions of blatant xenophobia.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Outcry at plans to make a comedy about Irish Famine

Irish Famine Memorial in Dublin
On 30 December, the Irish Times set off waves of outrage and disbelief when it reported that British TV station Channel 4 was commissioning a comedy set to the backdrop of the Irish Famine.

The Famine (or An Gorta Mór, as it is known in Irish), lasted from 1845 until 1852, and saw well over one million people in Ireland die from starvation and disease.

Many of them were buried without coffins, in mass pauper graves; others were left where they dropped for fear of contagion, their mouths green from the grass they ate in desperation to stay alive.

For many that died, their names and deaths were not recorded; their memory lost forever. A further one and a half million emigrated during the Famine to places like Boston, New York, Liverpool and Australia.

The Irish population dropped by 30 percent in six short years, and the political and cultural impact of the Famine can still be felt to this day. So too can the demographic impact – the Irish population has never properly recovered from the impact of the Famine, and is still lower than pre-Famine levels.

A petition calling on Channel 4 to not make the show has already reached close to 40,000 signatures.