In Spain, on Saturday (30 September) mass demonstrations were staged in Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria and Pamplona in support for the Basque Nationalist movement.
In Spain, on Saturday (30 September) mass demonstrations were staged in Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria and Pamplona in support for the Basque Nationalist movement. Although the day of protest was peaceful, and there were no arrests, the marches came at the end of a month of violence and unrest in the Basque region.
SYNOPSIS: More than 50,000 people gathered in the central square of Bilbao to demonstrate their support of the principle of Basque nationalism. The protesters also called for the release of all Basque activists in prison, and an amnesty for all those living in exile. The most extreme branch of the Nationalist movement, the outlawed guerrilla force ETA -- which stands for Basque Land and Liberty -- claimed responsibility for many of the terrorist attacks during September.
Recent decisions by the central Spanish government to grant the Basques a greater degree of autonomy in the areas of agriculture, industry and commerce, have not succeeded in satisfying the demands of the nationalists. Violence has continued, and seven Spanish policemen were killed in guerrilla attacks in the last month. Many nationalists oppose the tactics of ETA, and all the marches through the Basque cities on Saturday, involving some 80 thousand people, were peaceful. The demonstrators, some carrying the Basque flag, would through the streets of Bilbao chanting nationalist slogans in the Basque language, Euscaro.