Wednesday, January 21, 2009
In its last public communication, armed Basque group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) assumes the latest attacks against media outlets and businessman I. Uria.
On the latter they argue that he was not just involved with the highly controversial fast speed train (AHT-TAV) developement but that he also rejected to pay the revolutionary tax (extortion money reclaimed by ETA to Basque business). They say that they will continue to attack those involved with the TAV (in spite of the anti-TAV platform having asked them to step away), on the grounds that it is a project that goes against the interest of Basque people and that it has been used to criminalize the Basque Nationalist Left.
On the attack against media outlets, they argue that they were directed against two different kind of media: on one side the "Spanish fascist" ones, which apparently need no further explanation, and, on the other side, against Basque public broacasting group EITB. In this case they argue that, by means of "political comissaries" and chief editors the content of this media corporation is being put to the service of the Spanish government and used against Basque independentism. They claim not to be their intent to tell anybody "how to do journalism" though.
While the attacks on media may be controvesial, the ratified intervention in the conflict of that TAV is rather worrying. It must be mentioned that in the 1980s, ETA intervened rather succesfully against the construction of a nuclear reactor near Bilbao (at Lemoiz), kidnapping and eventually killing one engineer of that project. For some, ETA's intervention was what actually stopped the highly controversial developement, while for others it was a disruption of nonviolent resistence against Lemoiz nuclear plant.
The current intervention against the TAV is clearly reminiscent of that historical epysode and may be an atetmpt by ETA of claiming leadership of the Basque popular struggles. Nevertheless the ETA of the 2000s is hardly as strong as used to be in the 1980s and it's very possible that its intervention will be useless. In any case, the TAV line is already being constructed and it doesn't seem as the widespread opposition was going to be able to stop it, so I cannot exclude that, if ETA shows to be able to deploy sufficient power in this issue, it may be able to stop it. What is clear is that with ETA's intervention the popular platform that has been workking hard for more than a decade to block this project is rather sidelined.