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Another Basque Country is possible

by Rodrigo Arista Thursday, Jul. 04, 2002 at 7:54 AM

National liberation versus internationalism? Global justice from a local view. This is a text about why I think that national liberation, justice and internationalism are not incompatible. How to work for reach global justice, respecting the different local realities.

When leftist Basque people go out from their country, and when they meet other leftist people, alternative movements and antiglobalisation groups, it becomes hard to explain how the Basque leftist see the antiglobalisation and the international solidarity movement from a concrete local view.

First I have to say that the Basque leftist independentist movement has worked hard in favour of the global justice. But the fact is that in the Basque Country our rights are not respected, our ancestors did not know the justice, and, if the spanish and french states continue oppressing the Basque nation, maybe our children will not know justice at all. "No justice no peace", I read somewhere when I was a teenager.

The Basque reality is so complicated. Here, the right of life, the right for not to be tortured, the right for association, the language rights, freedom of speech, opinion and information, the citizenship... in fact, too much human rights are unrespected. And there is another right, one right that all the countries in the world should have: it is called FREE SELF DETERMINATION. Here, in the Basque Country, the right for self determination would probably end, fix or resolve many of the problems we have. It is not easy, but could help for the resolution of our political (and too long) conflict.

"But you said that you would talk about internationalism, antiglobalisation...", will be thinking some of the readers. Well, I have to say first that I think that the wish of the national liberation movement in the Basque Country is to reach the right as the nation that we are, to organize our society with more social justice, to decide the international relations we want to have and, of course, to fight for justice all over the world. We just want to have the option to work as the nation that we are, in favor of a better world. Because we think that "another world is possible".

But at the day, we can not do that as we wish. Of course, we can work for a better world and we do so, because although we are oppressed, we always find the way, the time, to send our solidarity or fighting to the side of all those other oppressed nations, communities, societys or persons. At this moment Juan Mari Olano (for example) one of the leaders of the basque prisoners support movement is going to be extradited by France to Spain. Amnesty International has warmed many times about the danger of been tortured in Spain. This movement has worked, and works, hard for the respect of the human rights of the basque political prisoners. While this happens, the spanish parties PP and PSOE have signed a new law that gives them the impunity to stop out of the law to the leftist independentist Basque party, Batasuna. In Europe, this kind of things have only happened in Turkey, against the leftists groups and the kurdish community. Did you hear about those hunger strikes? Basques also have gone into hunger strikes, many times, but maybe you did not know. Of course, we are forgotten countries, like much others.

This are only some examples. Obviously, we could continue talking about our linguistic, educational, economical, cultural... problems. But we hardly can work to the side of the world wide antiglobalisation movement if we can not at least work in our country. We, the basques, are foreigners in our own country. Divided in three administrations, in two different states. Without voice in Europe. Even without that choice.

And now you will say... "and what about the globalisation?". Well, about the relation between antiglobalisation and national liberation I will say the next thing. In this violent globalisation where we have been intruded, we need to defend the different local realities, those small things that make us different, and let us see what we have in common. Equal.

If not, what will happen with the rich cultural diversity? If all those who believe that another world is possible would work together, from their own and different realities, meeting to each other, this world would be already becoming a little bit better.

Nonetheless, be sure that you will continue seeing basque flags in the antiglobalisation demonstrations, be sure you will continue hearing solidarity shouts with the mapuche indians or the zapatists.... spoken in the old and alive basque language. Be sure you will see the basque member of the Via Campesina Paul Nicholson (or another basque) with Arafat (or other palestinians)in Ramallah, during the siege. Be sure we will rise against the economical injustice, we will stay with our argentinian brothers, with Mummia Abu Jamal, with the Irish peace process (also with Corsica or Breiz), against the nuclear energy... And with all the global social movements that have at least one friend in the Basque Country.

Finally, my congratulations to the Basque Independent Media Center. This is one of the places where all the different small realities can start meeting one another.

Rodrigo Arista, Donostia (Basque Country).

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