Basque separatist party's 'peace' march gets banned

10th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 August 2005, VITORIA - The Basque country's regional government has banned a march planned by the illegal political party Batasuna for Sunday.

10 August 2005

VITORIA - The Basque country's regional government has banned a march planned by the illegal political party Batasuna for Sunday.

The leader of Batasuna – the political wing of the armed separatist group ETA – had called for a demonstration in San Sebastian for peace.

At a press conference, Arnaldo Otegi said the demonstration should take place on Sunday, the day the fiesta Semana Grande starts.

The slogan would be: "Now the people, now the peace", said Otegi. He called on people to "give their support to this effort which the nationalist left is making to build a different scenario."

An ex-town councillor who belongs to Batasuna, Iñígo Balda, also announced there would be alternative activities offered during the festival and on 15 August a tribute to the Basque national flag.

On Wednesday, though, the government in Vitoria decided to outlaw the Sunday demonstration. In a statement, the interior department said its decision had been based on a ruling by the Audiencia Nacional which concluded Batasuna has no right to call gatherings as an illegal body.

The Basque government also said it feared the public order would be disturbed by the demonstration.

Earlier in the day, both socialist and conservative parties criticised Batasuna over the march.

The conservative PP called for the march to be banned while PSOE's general secretary Diego López Garrido said Batasuna had no credibility calling for peace or democracy since it still refused to condemn violence or demand ETA disarms.

"Whatever party incites or supports violence is illegal," he said. "In this country, you can defend all ideas, ideas which have nothing to do with the Spanish Constitution, but there is a limit: violence."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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