Between 950 and 1,700 people – depending on whether the organizers or the authorities are attended to – have been distributed this Saturday in a dozen strategic points of Iparralde as a “civil disobedience” to denounce France’s policy towards ETA prisoners, in particular Jakes Esnal and Ion Parot, with a long history of attacks but already advanced in age. The actions were called by Bake Bidea and Artesanos de la Paz and have motivated the deployment of the French Police, which has arrested at least 26 people until 4:30 p.m., according to the second of these entities.
A young woman denounces being banned from the Mutriku festivities for being an ertzaina: “They say that it is better not to go to the txosnas”
According to the information provided by the organization, the blockades have affected the Biarritz airport, the railway at Baiona -which has affected at least four TGV- or the A63 motorway, all of them important communication hubs. In total, thirteen localities are alluded to. The general coordinator of EH Bildu, Arnaldo Otegi, has supported these actions and has wanted Esnal and Parot to return “home”. The main coalition party, Sortu, has also strongly supported her throughout the day.
Both convening organizations assured that they would respond to the “judicial and political blockade of the peace process with a geographical blockade”, in order to denounce that the French Prosecutor’s Office opposes the provisional release of both “sick” prisoners. Jakes Esnal and Ion Parot were sentenced to life imprisonment in France, where they have already served 32 years, for their involvement in several ETA attacks. One of them was the attack against the Zaragoza barracks, with 11 murdered -among them several children- and more than 80 wounded.
For its part, the association of victims of terrorism Covite demanded two days ago that the authorities prevent “the blockade” considering that this call meant “conditioning public life to the interests of two pro-terrorist lobbies through violence and intimidation.” However, this Saturday he denounced that the “attacks” have taken place and that these organizations are “almighty in the French Basque Country.”