Sunday, 18 October 2009

marching near St Jean de Luz

Yesterday some ten thousand people massed near St Jean de Luz in the town of Bayonne. The demonstration was to defy new plans to build a tunnel through the Pyrenees and in so doing, destroy many villages' soul. It was a successful march that wound through the delightful old town. Given sensitivities over all things Basque demonstrators had been urged not to display overt Basque sentiment for fear of rousing passions. A rather feeble proclamation.

Despite the authority's efforts, and although we demonstrators refrained from politically motivated Basque chants, there were a myriad of large signs in Basque, traditional music was played as we walked and many people were speaking the language (I had to explain why I wasn't able to which was a challenge).

There were of course some politically motivated people in the crowd distributing leaflets about Basque people who were being wrongfully held in prison. In any other circumstance I would have thought them militant but during the last century there have been thousands of people wrongfully imprisoned or worse still, disappear. The Spanish and French governments have done their best to expel all things Basque but the harder they try the stronger the culture becomes.

Basque of the day:- demonstrastion :: manifestazio