This past Saturday, June 14th, thousands of people demonstrated in Bayonne (Iparralde or the North of the Basque Country, under French administration) to ask for the human rights of prisoners and refugees, the resolution of the conflict and to achieve a definitive scenario of peace. Demands covered in the banner that opened the demonstration with the slogan “human rights, resolution, peace”. Behind it, hundreds of family members and friends of the prisoners carried portraits of their family members and friends who are prisoners.
The demonstration counted on the support of the political and social life of Iparralde. Representatives of all the colours of political parties and trade unions, with the exception of the National Front, have expressed their support for the demands of this demonstration and many of them were present. In the streets of Bayonne you could see, among others, the centrist mayors of Bayonne and Biarritz, Jean-René Etchegaray and Michel Veunac, the socialist mayor of Hendaye Kotte Ezenarro, the deputies and senator of the same party Colette Capdevielle, Sylviane Alaux and Frederique Espagnac, the deputy mayor of the UMP Christian Millet-Barbé, the abertzale mayor of Uztaritze Bruno Carreré, the regional councillor of Europe Ecologie, Alice Leiziagezahar, the state co-spokesperson of the NPA Nicolas Poutou, and also many other representatives of political parties like Sortu (Xabi Larralde), AB (Peio Etxeberr-Aintxart), EA (Phillipe Deluc) and of the trade unions (ELB, ELA, LAB, CGT, CFDT, Solidaires), and also representatives of numerous social and cultural movements. Joining them were thousands of anonymous citizens.
All of them with only one objective: to ask the French government to listen to the will of Basque society and to take steps and commit itself to the peace process. This was a call that was also made by the organizers of the march as it ended “a solemn call to Paris to get involved in the logic of resolution” for which they hope that they respect the integrity of the rights of the prisoners and that they free those who are seriously ill. They also pressured for the end of the application of European Arrest Warrants and to facilitate the return of the exiles, and those expelled and deported by the French government to third countries.
The organizers also remarked on the plural and massive adhesion that the demands of the demonstration have gathered and they expressed that it is time to build peace among everyone.