Free Imprisoned Basque Nationalists! Crackdown on ETA/Ekin (Le Bolchévik)

Free Imprisoned Basque Nationalists!

Crackdown on ETA/Ekin

On September 13, 300 Spanish cops arrested 20 leaders of the Basque nationalist movement in a night-and-fog raid called "Black Wolf." The Spanish government claims to have now arrested the whole leadership of EKIN, the umbrella organization which forms the political leadership of the Basque national movement, including its military arm ETA, its political face Euskal Herritarrok, its youth movement Jarrai, etc. EKIN was founded in 1999 after its predecessor organization, KAS, was banned. Among the arrested are Xabier Alegria and Ana Lizarralde. In a move that amounts to criminalizing simple defence of the EKIN/ETA, they have put behind bars the lawyer of the Basque nationalists, José Maria Matanzas Gorostizaga! And on September 15, French police arrested Ignacio Gracia Arregi, a top leader of ETA, in the French town of Bidart, in an operation assisted by the Spanish cops. We demand: FREEDOM NOW FOR THE ARRESTED MILITANTS AND FOR THE MORE THAN 500 OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN ROTTING IN JAIL. OFTEN FOR YEARS!
The recent wave of arrests is a response by the Spanish and French governments to the break in the unilateral cease-fire by ETA, which has resulted in the deaths of a dozen Basque capitalists, cops, bourgeois politicians or ideologues, and leaders of the reformist Spanish PSOE (all former high ranking representatives of the bourgeois state at the time of the coalition between the nationalist PNV and the PSOE in the Basque country). For Marxists, these killings are not crimes against the working class. Marxists oppose the desperate petty-bourgeois strategy of individual terrorism but when the oppressed act against the bourgeoisie and its state, we defend them against capitalist repression. As Bolshevik revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky wrote in 1939 in defence of Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish youth on trial for shooting a Nazi official in the German embassy in Paris;

"We Marxists consider the tactics of individual terror inexpedient in the tasks of the liberating struggle of the proletariat as well as oppressed nationalities. A single isolated hero cannot replace the masses. But we understand only too clearly the inevitability of such convulsive acts of despair and vengeance. All our emotions, all our sympathies are with the self-sacrificing avengers even though they have been unable to discover the correct road....
"People come cheap who are capable only of fulminating against injustice and bestiality. But those who, like Grynszpan, are able too act as well as conceive, sacrificing their own lives if need be, are the precious leaven of mankind."

As revolutionary proletarian internationalists, we defend the RIGHT OF THE BASQUE PEOPLE TO INDEPENDENCE; NORTH AS WELL AS SOUTH OF THE PYRENEES. We denounce the vicious repression against Basques by the Jospin [Socialist prime minister]-led popular-front government in France, which routinely arrests and deports nationalist militants to Spain. Earlier under [Socialist president] Mitterand, the French police collaborated with the PSOE government when it set up death squads, the GAL, which assassinated at least 27 people. And today the French government also represses Breton and Corsican nationalists. We demand: FREEDOM FOR ALL IMPRISONED NATIONALISTS!
Spain has been engulfed by an ever increasing hysteria against the Basque nationalists, which has been embraced by the whole spectrum of the left, which regularly participate in reactionary mass demonstrations against ETA together with the ruling [right-wing]PP and the social democrats of the PSOE. Spanish chauvinism is used to divide the working class and weaken it in the face of massive attacks by the right-wing government against living conditions and job security, and targeting in particular more vulnerable immigrant workers. This has culminated in a racist pogrom against North African workers in El Ejido in the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, Spain is the advanced outpost of the EU [European Union] social-democrat-led racist "fortress Europe" to prevent immigration coming from and through northern Africa. At least several hundred are estimated to have drowned in recent years in an attempt to cross the Straights of Gibraltar. Earlier this week, in one day at least 136 immigrants were arrested in the Straights by Spanish police. We demand: DOWN WITH RACIST DEPORTATIONS! FULL CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS FOR ALL IMMIGRANTS NOW!

Defending the right of Basque self-determination is key to fighting for a proletarian revolution in Spain. We demand: FREEDOM NOW FOR XABIER ALEGRIA, ANA LIZARRALDE AND THE OTHER IMPRISONED BASQUE NATIONALISTS!

LE BOLCHEVIK (LTF alderdiaren prentsa)