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ETA have called a "permanent" ceasefire

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Wednesday March 22, 2006 13:35author by ipsiphi Report this post to the editors

In a statement issued to the websites Gara, Berria and Basque Radio, the terrorist organisation has announced a cessation to its armed conflict to begin on Friday.

consider this a news flash.

this is the statement in euskara
this is the statement in catalan
the statement in castellano may be read under the line in blue
"Texto íntegro del comunicado de ETA, recogido de la página web de "Gara":

There is as of yet no english translation. The statement was made through ETA/HB's site "gara" and the pro--independence site "berria" and basque national radio within the last hour.

this is some background -
"Laying the Table"
"The Absent"
"How the basques voted and not voted"

Bake = Paz = Paix = Pau = Peace = Siochain = Saleem = Shalom
= less violence and more talking

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 22, 2006 14:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Heres some news from the BBC (there are those who refuse to believe anything printed or broadcast by the BBC). Full story at the link.

"Eta declares permanent ceasefire

ETA has been under growing pressure
The Basque separatist group Eta has declared a permanent ceasefire. The group has been fighting for independence for the Basque region of northern Spain and south-west France for nearly four decades. It is blamed for killing more than 800 people in that time, many of them Spanish police, judges and politicians.

In a statement released to Basque media, Eta said its objective now was "to start a new democratic process in the Basque country".

"At the end of this process, Basque citizens will be able to have a voice and the power to decide their future.

"An end to the conflict is possible today and now," it said. "This is the hope and desire of Eta."

The announcement said the ceasefire would begin on Friday 24 March. "

Related Link:
author by iosafpublication date Wed Mar 22, 2006 14:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you will note the statement still hasn't been translated to english.

You will also note that both the BBC and RTE and well all of the news services are using the usual "ETA illustration".
I'm not going to. You don't need to see the trio in the berets with the flags and the white hoods over their eyes on this site. It gets boring after a while. in any case, indymedia ireland is being so succesful at the moment, that "behind the scenes" news is, the cost of presenting all our images is causing financial pressure. That maybe to do with the riots in Ireland and abroad.

You can join indymedia ireland on these pages and learn about that sort of thing here-

You can really help by -
* writing articles
* being an orignal news maker & telling us about your campaigns and protests
* being a photographer and uploading promptly your orignal images and try and ensure they are "not too heavy" at certain times (like now) Join the photo list and you'll know when.
* being a translator and reading things like this statement and adding a comment with your translation or at least a paraphrase so that news is circulated.
* By donating some cash. "coz free media aint free".

Now last thing for now on the "ceasefire" is that ceasefire's are a formal absence of armed struggle and military engagement, and all the usual jargon. just coz the trio in the beret and hoods says it happening on Friday, doesn't mean today or tomorrow are not going see "pop pop boom". Nor can anyone of us really trust the BBC or ETA or RTE to accurately forecast our future. They are offering the community of the Basque and Spain and France and beyond "something or other". We will see in time what that "something or other" was.

= don't get sentimental.

author by Frankpublication date Wed Mar 22, 2006 15:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The ETA statement in english is available on the Sinn Féin web page

Related Link:
author by Irish Basque Committeespublication date Wed Mar 22, 2006 17:17author email irishbasques at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Important boost for a the democratic process in the Basque Country. Political Status for Basque Political Prisoners!! Self Determination for the Basque Country!!
ETA’s message to Euskal Herria (Basque People)

ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasunak - Basque Country and
freedom)has decided to implement a permanent ceasefire
from the 24th March 2006 onwards. ETA´s aim is to
promote the democratic process needed in the Basque

The Basque Country needs a democratic structure,
including our right as a nation, and looking at the
future with the participation of all the political

As part of that process, Basques will need to be able
to decide and speak on their future.

The states of Spain and France Hill have to respect
the results of the Basque democratic debates without
conditions. And Basques will have to accept what we
decide for our future.

We call to all sectors of society to correspond the
step made by ETA at the same level.

We demand the Spanish and French political
establishment to provide a positive answer to this new
situation and to abandon repressive measures.

In general, we demand Basque citizens to get fully
involved in this new process and to fight for our
rights as a Nation.

ETA’s willingness and disposition is to contribute to
this process and to implement a truly democratic
state, to solve this long conflict and gaining peace
based on justice.

Next, we renew our commitment to continue in the
pursuit of that aim.

A solution to the conflict is possible, today and here
– that is ETA’s willingness

Euskal Herria (Basque Country), March 2006


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author by -publication date Wed Mar 22, 2006 23:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

without source.
who is the photographer?
when was it taken?
not today.

"inverted commas".

author by jimmiepublication date Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you wanted to makeyourself look suspisious and "evil " looking you couldn't pick a better uniform, all black with funny hats, white sheets! over their heads and they eyes cut out at a slant like something from a comic book bad guy.

author by RKpublication date Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If it's true-it's fantastic to see they've finally admitted defeat.

author by iosaf mac diarmadapublication date Thu Mar 23, 2006 13:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh well everyone is reacting. From yesterday afternoon onwards the metro platforms relayed the news. (we have TV on the metro platforms). The trio, and the woman in the centre reading the statement. Then the TV channels went out on the streets to record the "vox pop" for the evening news broadcasts. "inverted commas". "caution". "oh thats great". "is the Carlist war over then?".
"well done Zapatero". "do I still have to pay the war tax?". "will we be popular now in other countries?" "who told you? are you sure?" "Oh I heard that before leave me alone". TVE gave four seconds to a business man in Bilbao dropping his briefcase so that he could simultaneously cover his face with one hand and wave another at the camera - the typical you've caught me at it, the money was only resting in my account, no comment!!!!

Then the "leadership" - all the political parties, all the regional presidents including our own Pasqual Maragall of Catalonia.
Oh then Gerry Adams, got out of the suit and put on an old denim shirt sitting next to Martin Mc Guinness and Gerry Kelly, "Oh I've phoned everyone up, I'nm in contact with everyone in the Basque and Spain, and I've written a letter to ZP, its great, a great day for Oirland. our basque comrades will have suits and american style captalist improvements in no time!!!!"

Oh the PP seemed to be caught on the hop. Only yesterday they were calling for "200" trouble experts in Barcelona to be horse whipped for the drinking binge and plastic bullets on Paddy's night.
More or less the PP has said "Well look at the "inverted commas" this is not the end, they are criminals, gurggle gurggle". I suppose that means they will work up to in an ideal world talking about "ending eta criminality" someday.

What more can be said?

Well lots, the Basques, Catalans, Spanish, and of course Irish are really adept at saying things. & so we delight to see the peninsula's indymedia centres abound with reaction and experts!!!! Great.

But the question remains - what is a quimera?

author by ipsiphipublication date Thu Mar 23, 2006 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is just in case over 30 million TV viewers got it wrong, and it really wasn't ETA declaring a ceasefire yesterday. You know it could be british spies or green bottles or the PP in fancy dress...

the message in basque, spanish and french may be read here-
thats like from the horse's mouth as they say their own website to which I have never linked before.

It is not in my (or those I speak for) political, social, financial or personal interest to help the plethora of experts in a pithy opinion piece on either the history of ETA or the prospects of a lasting and just peace process for the Basque people and their Spanish and French neighbours.

There are already several books in the english language (written by Irishmen) on the subject, but of course they focus on the period before the ceasefire for Catalonia, the bombings of Madrid on March 11, or the election of Zapatero.

2 titles :-

"Dirty War Clean Hands" by Paddy Woodworth. (you will probably see something by him in the Irish Times soon)
ISBN: 1859182763 - Cork University Press

"Matxinada - Basque Nationalism and Radical Basque Youth Movements" by Eoin O' Broin, Sinn Fein's European affairs man and of course councillor for North Belfast ( who may owe me a pint?? ).
You can buy that book at any office of SF which has a bookshop and get some dinky postcards too!!!

but for those who are curious here are some more links in addition to those background links I left in the article above.

The organisation that was ETA when Luis Carrero Blanco the prime minister to Franco was blown up and over several streets to peninsular near joy, termed "operation ogre" is not the same organisation which has just called its 10th ceasefire. This afternoon without making a particular effort I spoke to the wife of a former member of the political wing of ETA in the 1970s. He and several hundred others of his comrades walked out in protest at the massacre in a Barcelona supermarket 1987 killed 21 and was till M11 the largest single deathtoll in democratic Spanish or Catalan history. For leaving the political and military structure of ETA they all received death threats. It is impossible to estimate how many Basques and Spaniards have lived under threat of death in the last 40 years. Indeed the organisation that collated the victims of all terror in Spain (see link in article above "the absent")
want to collate the names of all those who got those most lethal message.

Therefore as those sympathetic to the "armed struggle" tradition in the Basque independence movement now call on the Spansih government "to make the next steps", it also begs a question-

Can everyone and anyone have their say now? Is everyone welcomed at the table so beautifully and patiently laid to argue, discuss, rationalise, negotiate and progress without fear of intimidation? = Is it ok for everyone to say what they think the Quimera looks like?
"Laying the Table"
"The Absent"
"How the basques voted and not voted"

Bake = Paz = Paix = Pau = Peace = Siochain = Saleem = Shalom

= less violence and more listening.

author by Gay Georipublication date Thu Mar 23, 2006 20:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... that uses the term "separatist" when then word is "terrorist".

Anyway, who gives a fuck about this crap? Other than the involvement of smug NI Catholic priest Father Alex Reid (yes, the very same guy who testified in a Dublin court that one of the Anabel's nighclub killers, the son of a pub owner from Cavan, was such a nice guy, and who also threw around the "Nazi" word and NEVER apologized), what relevance is this Stuff to anyone in this country, other than the "Oh, we were in Colombia to observe the peace process" chumps?

Why not post it on Spanish Indymedia?

Jesus, the word "onion" in the media would generate a spanish-related story from ipsiphi/joseph.

Cue mind-numbingly boring "Sunday Papers" bollox this Sunday about the metaphysical significance of hooded men compared with the 15th century stained glass representation in the Church of Saint Benneton by El Greco of Saint Pius XII's encyclical which blessed the massacred the Moors in ... (continued p. 94).

Boring, boring, boring.

Related Link:
author by hmmmm - (iosaf the expert)publication date Thu Mar 23, 2006 23:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

no-one trusts the BBC, but since early 2005 they have operated on an internal memorandum whiched recommended the term "seperatist" for acts relating to ETA. Thats why "seperatist" entered the world news-speak. The memorandum has now become quasi-official policy. There are many reasons for it.
the most obviously british was the reaction to the bombings of london and their relation to traditional domestic terrorism and of course the previous reactions to the Madrid bombings the year before. At that level, it would seem the memorandum had the tacit approval of the "cobra commitee" charged with the security of the UK in general and London in particular through 2005. (C/F consult _the sunday papers "dark side of the moon edition"_ & the battle of trafalgar_ for real time crypto reference to the cobra comittee) The process of "news-speak" extended through the attempts made at the Barcelona summit of the Euro-mediterranean block to mark 10 years since the Barcelona declaration from June 16th to June 18th 2005, and the accompanying attempts to define "terror" and "terrorism" for the international communtiy. Since that debate featured heavily majority wishes to recognise the use of armed struggle for self-determination in the Mediterranean (e.g. Palestine) the BBC shift in wording in the english language naturally saw wider usage in other languages and by other comparable news agencies. It is impossible to say right now "who started it all". It is thus no surprise that the Irish independent newspaper group used the wording in reporting recent political developments, because the journalists and editorial staff of the Irish Independent are not a very original lot, and very open to manipulation.

{ you'd swear i thought all this stuff up wouldn't you? till you realised I don't get out of bed till 11am and can't do power breakfasts and would look really hungover singing important things on TV. then you remember you have Ahern. Hold that thought. Ask yourself, hasn't he signed enough shite for you? Now I'm not running for the job. No worries there. Just give it some thought. who do you not want on TV being your leadership? }

I'd also like to point out that there is no such thing as "spanish indymedia". In order of their creation these are the indymedia collectives which operate on the Iberian peninsula :-
barcelona, madrid, euskal herria, andorra, portugal, galicia, canarias, madiaq (trans-national with morocco), & valencia. There articles may he published in a range of languages including - esperanto, english, castillian spanish, catalan, portuguese, galician, arabic, basque and french.
please consult the left hand side column "Navigation" section and click on "imc global network" for links to at most of these collectives. You can also find the radio streams and listen.

listening is good.

author by RJpublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They're all part of the Kingdom of Spain, so the guy was right really.

author by RJpublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

from Portugal and Andorra obviously

author by Gay Georipublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if you don't speak Spanish then you're stuck posting the crap here, aren't you.... like anyone in Spain OR Ireland wants to read such irrelevant headwank anyway... blah, blah...

author by No Masquepublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It should be made known to all the loyal readers that the Masked Trio above are three of your favourite correspondents. Its Iosaf, Pat C and Gay Geori!

author by grrrrrrrrrrrrpublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 14:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

why don't you write a long letter to RTE and the Irish newspapers asking them why they covered this story. It might mark the end of the longest terrorist campaign in European History. Thats sort of news-worthy as it hopefully will lead to improved quality of life for many of you fellow europeans, and if you look around you in Ireland you'll see many citizens with "the kingdom of Spain passports". Its not like I'm boring you with details of some famine, coup d'etat or election somwhere you have absolutely no cultural or historical ties with.

And its like I put this story here with a neutral pitch, as I also broke the news on indymedia uk.

Now If i remember correctly you wanted to have a go at ETA on the anniversary of March 11 in the comments. Moaning on about "all the victims", yet when I published the article "The Absent" one week later with a link to the database of _all the victims_ not a peep from gay geori.
Here was your latest big chance to get your comments in and "on topic". But you just went and had a go at that great and noble transnational institutions which is "the Sunday Papers".

there'll be no complimentary T-shirt for you come RTS! 2016 unless you pick your socks up and stop moaning about international news.


author by Gay Byrnepublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 14:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The ball is now with Madrid Govt - repatriate all political prisoners, immediate release hostages (the 20 odd prisoners who are still imprisoned despite having completed terms of imprisonment imposed on them by the Frnco-loving judiciary) , scale back the repression/torture of nationalist activists.

Gay Guy

"like anyone in Spain OR Ireland wants to read such irrelevant headwank anyway... "

Wow- intellectual depth and self-annointed ability to speak on behalf of 60 odd million. For someone who thinks ETAs ceasefire is irrelevant you're making a fair amount of noise about it.

author by RKpublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 15:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The ball is now with the Madrid government? Surely the ball is with the terrorist nutters of ETA/Batasuna that they follow through with their long overdue promise. Then and only then should repatriation of those who have wasted their lives in the pursuit of a terrorist cause be considered.

author by iosafpublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

(to show what a comment can be)

ETA's statement had 261 words.
The most repeated word was "democratic" followed by "process" which was used 5 times.
ETA's statement was seen by an estimated 30 million people.
70% of Spaniards polled do not believe the ceasefire is permanent.
1 out of 3 residents of Bilbao chose "no reply / don't know" in the same poll devalidating it.
The group was formed in 1959 in a catholic seminary in the Basque country but did not kill till 1968
Since then the figures of dead cited vary from 817 minimum to 928 maximum.
Since the 7th of June 1968 till today, only 1970, 1971, 1999, 2004,2005 and 2006 saw no deaths. The worst year was 1980 with 92 deaths.
ETA has 521 prisoners in several states, the majority in Spain and France, others in Argentina, Mexico and South America.
Many hundred people are under a macro-indictiment called the 18/98 trial, it is the biggest trial in history and it is impossible to read the evidence.
Egunkarria the sole Basque language newspaper was closed in 2003 for links to ETA.

thats enough data, now an opinion:-

Mendiz mendi. Mendirik mendi ( = from one mountain to another )

A wonderful documentary on Basque politics ought be watched by all interested in the "process"
Its called "The Basque Ball" or "skin against stone", directed by Julio Medem 2003, 540 minutes duration.
It is named after the variety of traditional handball played there. Made during the Aznar years it offered all parties opportunity to talk. Only the PP declined the invitation. Many of those who accepted were under death threats from ETA.

The ball is not in the court of either the Madrid government or of ETA.
It is in the court of ordinary people to speak of what they have lived through.
and for others to listen so that as much of the wrongs as is possible may be corrected.

author by Gay Byrnepublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 18:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The ball is now with the Madrid government?"

The freedom fighters of ETA have called the ceasefire you thick - good to see you recognise the integrity of the Basque country though by recognizing that those who fought heroically should be repatriated.

author by Gay Georipublication date Fri Mar 24, 2006 22:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Sunday Papers are certainly institutionalized....

"Brother’s heading that way now I guess
He just read something made his face turn blue
Well I got nothing against the press
They wouldn’t print it if it wasn’t true

Sunday papers don’t ask no questions
Sunday papers don’t get no lies
Sunday papers don’t raise objection
Sunday papers don’t got no eyes"

Apologies to J. Jackson.

author by iosafpublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 21:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

& so the 9th "Permanent" ceasefire ended. Worthy of comment in that it probably killed 2 south american migrant workers & was not preceded with any kind of statement.

sin é.
Mister Chaos isn't eating still either.

Happy New Year!

This van was hijacked & its owner spent the night with those who put between 500 & 800kg of explosive & ended the ETA Ceasefire.
This van was hijacked & its owner spent the night with those who put between 500 & 800kg of explosive & ended the ETA Ceasefire.

between 35,000 & 45,000kg of rubble have been cleared. 2 migrants are still missing.
between 35,000 & 45,000kg of rubble have been cleared. 2 migrants are still missing.

author by iosafpublication date Thu Mar 22, 2007 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yer man noted cleric from Belfast Alec Reid was on Catalan telly this afternoon, the right wing who have organised their ideas & refined their "emergent political class" thing of the last weeks. In the illustration you see a group of over a hundred who cut traffic in Madrid earlier. They suggest that Otegi leader of Batasuna is immune after his charges for exalting terrorism at an ETA volunteer funeral were dropped yesterday. The banner reads "Zp [representing the zapatero regime] doesn't see" - and their message is "ETA/Batasuna out of our institutions".

I had always been under the impression that this exactly what eta/Batasuna had wanted : to be out of their institutions. Thus is the table laid. Didn't need Jesus, but it was nice to have noted cleric Alec Reid on the telly - he sounds really weighty when dubbed.

the language, the style, the generation improves. the table is laid.
the language, the style, the generation improves. the table is laid.

author by ipsiphipublication date Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

¿Here we go again?

Well not really because things have changed in the meantime. I'm sure other people will explain better than I could be bothered to.
ETA is not central to the Basque problem. & the only thing at the moment worth commenting on is that this ceasefire does not include the word "permanent" and came in the form of a video sent to the BBC, the British public broadcasting institution.

they look just the same as the last time.
they look just the same as the last time.

author by paulapublication date Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

wonder how long that will last??

author by iosafpublication date Sun Sep 05, 2010 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are actually a few wee differences between this morning's ETA ceasefire which the world media (all headlining the story at present) seem to have missed out on but which I'm sure readers here (of all hues) might appreciate. In no particular order here are some of the few wee differences I've spotted so far :

* It's a non-banking day, the traditional day of rest & Sunday stuff. Usually ETA announce their ceasefires on working days.

* For the first time since the death of Franco & subsequent elections, the moderate Basque nationalist party are not in power in the Basque regional parliament. What all along ought to have been a party of opposition only went to those benches after an extraordinary coalition of the rightwing and liberal parties of Spanish unionism - the PSOE & PP.

* The ceasefire is about to be discussed at a press conference by a new political alliance of the marxist fringe party and what's kind of left of the bunch of people we used to call b-a-t-a-s-u-n-a except of course they weren't b-a-t-a-s-u-n-a and they of course did one a press conference last Friday announcing a few things they want (the usual).

* the ceasefire statement says that ETA actually decided it was on ceasefire (without telling anyone) a few months ago. I suppose they wanted to take it a day at a time and would have felt unneccesarily stigmatised had they come out then & then told us all about it and then you know slipped back on the way off the wagon the way one does . This is the first time ETA have made such a statement akin to "sure you know we've been on non-offensive actions ceasefire for ages now". Neatly using the usual semantics to get around the recent murder of a French cop by implying (or you infer) that that event was defensive action .

Sure Jayzhus, a Romani gypsy killed one French cop after running a road block and within weeks France started expelling all the Romani gypsies from their state. So I suppose the Basques are kind of lucky they're not seeing their French side of the Pyrennes towns dismantled and they're all being shown the road west and south. Of course there's still time for that kind of thing.

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