Once again this year, a demonstration in support of the repatriation of Basque prisoners will take place in Bayonne, conditioned by the health crisis. We are starting to run out of time. Jon, Jakes and Unai with us! They will denounce their blockade of the Basque government on the issue of Basque prisoners and begin a phase of disobedience. They have announced that they will be carrying out “strong, courageous, collective and participatory” action in the coming months, and they intend to start this new dynamic on Saturday. More than one activist has backed this year’s mobilization, including the ELB, FSU, and LAB unions, the Vizi, EH Bai and Europa Ekologia-Berdeak parties, and the Northern Basque Country Human Rights Commission.
Brothers Unai and Jon Parot and Jakes Esnal will be celebrating their 32nd year in prison this year. The latter two are incarcerated in French prisons, and have long had the opportunity to be released on parole; but, they have been denied more than once. In recent years, the French counter-terrorism prosecutor’s office has repeatedly hindered their release, denying the steps taken to resolve the conflict in the Basque Country.
“The French political and judicial powers have not shown any change in their position. No solution has been found to the problems facing prisoners and fugitives. We do not see any will to find a way out of the situation of the prisoners, “said Anaiz Funosas, President of the Way of Peace, in December. Although the dialogue channel with the French Ministry of Justice remains open, the Peacekeepers have often denounced the “lack of will” to move the situation forward.
Hoping to be a starting point
That is why they would like Saturday’s mobilization to be a new starting point. They have called on the people to come with the tools to harass them, “to be heard in Paris.” The demonstration will start in three columns, from three places in Bayonne: the Plaza de los Euskalduns, the Lauga Room and the Plaza de Reduit, and depending on the regions of the Northern Basque Country, the citizens have been called to one place or another. Representatives and elected officials will meet in Reduit Square. After walking through the streets of Bayonne, the ceremony will take place in the Place des Andres. It will announce the dynamics of disobedience that will be developed in the coming months, and will allow citizens who wish to participate to register.
At a rally yesterday morning, citizens were also called upon to register as assistants. As a result of the health crisis, more than one person has canceled their participation and has decided to make a last-minute call. They also demanded that the same protests be respected.