Spanish police has arrested tonight seven members of the, so far legal, internationalist organization Askapena. It has done so ordered by the Neoinquisition's new boy, judge Juan Pablo Ruz, who is replacing B. Garzón, who is in trial for daring to investigate fascism or something).
The seven arrested are Gabi Basañez, Unai Vázquez, Itxaso Lekuona, Rubén Sánchez, David Soto, Aritz Ganboa and Walter Wendelin. Wendelin, who has German citizenship, was expelled from Venezuela in March in a cowardly action by the Bolivarian government, upon pressure from Spain. In spite of all the manipulations he was free until yesterday.
There is of course concern because of the recent reports of tortures against other people arrested arbitrarily by the Audiencia Nacional (Neoinquisition).
This is obviously another sabotage against any possible peace process and a provocation to the whole Basque Nationalist Left. There is no question about it. The only question may be who is directing the judges (and police, as tortures are not something that judges can order) into arbitrary arrests of political nature in this delicate time. I do not have an answer but it is clear that, if it is not the Spanish Government directly (it might be the right wing opposition), it casts a huge shadow on the real power wielded by Rodriguez Zapatero (PM) and Rubalcaba (Minister of the Interior) and therefore on whether something can be negotiated at all with the PSOE government.
Question remains is how much patience will ETA have with the blatant disinterest of Spain in reaching to any agreement or even respecting the most basic protocol towards any sort of negotiation. And how much patience will the Basque people have as well because what is obvious by now, and is likely to become more obvious in the near future, is that Spain does not want peace and democracy and Basque people does instead.
By the way, there is some persistent helicopter noise out there. Not too unusual but sign that they are monitoring the streets from the air, whatever the exact reason. As there is no demonstration called for today, it should be related to the arrests.