As the Spanish Government prepares to face a general strike in the Basque region called for Monday (27 September), relatives of Basque nationalists who are still held in prison, have been conducting a sit-in protest in a church in Bilbao.
GV EXT. Bilbao church and traffic in street.
CU Altar inside church PAN DOWN TO group of relatives of Basque political prisoners taking part in sit-in demonstration in church.
CU ZOOM OUT Group of relatives including young girls.
SV PAN Demonstrators sitting talking. (4 shots)
SV Through wooden grill of chapel at demonstrators in main body of church.
GV Demonstrators sitting in body of church.
It was reported from Madrid on Tuesday (21 September) that the government had agreed to the display of the Basque Nationalist flag, in an attempt to pacify the restive and fiercely independent northern Basque provinces. The Interior Minister, Rodolfo Martin Villa, gave orders to this effect after completing a tour of the Basque provinces, which had recently been rocked by volent nationalist demonstrations and strikes.
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Background: As the Spanish Government prepares to face a general strike in the Basque region called for Monday (27 September), relatives of Basque nationalists who are still held in prison, have been conducting a sit-in protest in a church in Bilbao.
SYNOPSIS: Bilbao is generally regarded as the Basque regional capital, and the relatives' demonstration is in support of the main aims of the planned strike. If it takes place, Monday's general strike will be the second in three weeks in the region. Earlier this month two-hundred thousand workers struck in protest at the death of young basque nationalist during a demonstration which was broken up by police.
The strike has been called to demand a political amnesty for members of the Basque nationalist guerrilla organisation, E.T.A. - the Basque Land and Freedom Party - who are still held in prison. It will also mark the anniversary of the death of five urban guerrillas who were executed last year.
Several E.T.A. prisoners are currently staging a hunger strike in Burgos Prison in the north of the region. The mothers of two of the men on hunger strike have said their sons will continue to refuse food until either they are dead, or the prison conditions are improved.