In Spain, after a week-end of violent clashes between police and rival demonstrators in Basque regions, the Spanish Communist Party held a mass rally in Gallarta near Bilbao on Sunday (29 October).
In Spain, after a week-end of violent clashes between police and rival demonstrators in Basque regions, the Spanish Communist Party held a mass rally in Gallarta near Bilbao on Sunday (29 October). A series of demonstrations on Saturday (28 October) indicated the beginning of a major split between moderate and radical Basque Nationalists. The Communist Party supported the anti-terrorist measured being taken by the Spanish government to quell violence in the Basque area.
SYNOPSIS: Five thousand people attended the rally to demonstrate their opposition to the guerrilla tactics of the Basque Nationalist group ETA. After many years of unrest in the region, the Basques have now been promised some degree of independence. ETA claim this is not enough and have shot and killed thirteen policemen and civil guards within the past two months.
Among the speakers was Senora Dolores Ibarurri. Senora Ibarurri, aged eighty three won fame for her fiery oratory and her fight against the Nationalist forces of the late General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Known as "La Passionaria", the passion flower, she lived in exile in the Soviet Union for almost forty years, returning to Spain last year following the death of General Franco. This rally was of particular significance for Senora Ibarurri since she was born in Gallarta.
Although both factions of the Basque Nationalist movement reject the proposed draft constitution which will be voted on in a referendum in December, the moderates condemn the use of violence in fighting for Basque autonomy. The Communist Party speakers at the rally echoed the sentiments of the moderate Basques, calling for a united and peaceful campaign.