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Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Great Week of Bilbao begins in most tense environment

The Aste Nagusia (Great Week) of Bilbao finally began yesterday, as the one of Donostia (San Sebastian) is almost drowned in blood, rather than dying peacefully as usual. Another elderly man, totally unrelated with any protest, was injured yesterday as police charged again against a demonstration in solidarity with Basque prisoners in Donostia. Three people have been arrested.

Image of the demonstration before police intervened (Gara)

Meanwhile the death threats against Bilbao txupinera, Sonia Polo, sister of a prisoner herelf, have fed the tension even more. But finally the Aste Nagusia began yesterday as close to normality as possible while the (Spanish) Bishop of Bilbao used the pulpit to make pro-Spanish anti-ETA politics, demonstrating that the Catholic Church is anything but neutral in this milennary conflict between the Basque People and the neighbouring opressor empires.

Sonia Polo (in red) fires the inaugural rocket (txupin)

Noticeably, this August 15, celebrated by Catholics as day of Virgin Mary, is precisely the day that Basques fought their most celebrated battle of all times, smashing the knightly rearguard of the imperialist army of Charlemagne at Orreaga (Roncevaux). Some people went to the Pyrenean pass of Ibaineta to commemorate it, deploying a huge Navarrese banner:

Source: Gara (links in text).


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