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https://www.32csm.org/blogger 32CSM Day Of Solidarity For Basque Political Prisoners.

Members of the 32CSM from around Ireland and across the water in Manchester, were on the streets today to highlight the plight of the protesting Basque political prisoners held in prisons throughout Spain and the Basque country.


Political prisoner Patxi Ruiz has been on hunger and thirst strike from the 11th of May and the situation is deteriorating daily, not only with Patxi's health but with more people joining the protest both inside and outside the prisons. On the 12th of May political prisoners Dani Pastor, Oskar Barreras and Aitor Cotano began to refuse food, two more prisoners Jon Kepa Preciado and Mikel San Sebastian joined the protest that weekend. On the 18th of May Oier Andueza and Mikel Izpurua joined the protest. International pressure needs brought to bare on Spain and we here in Ireland more than anyone given our history regarding prison struggles, know how important this arm of the Basque struggle is. Everyone here in Ireland who claims to be for human and civil rights needs to do their bit no matter how big or small, to send a message to the Spanish government about their treatment of the Basque people. Beir Bua.




Over the past few weeks we have spoke with several concerned residents and homeowners across Belfast regarding the actions or non-actions, of landlords to respect their tenants and carry out essential repairs and also of sinister vulture businesses preying on homeowners who have found hardship in the recent crisis.


One young mother currently renting a house in West Belfast, was left without heating or hot water after the outdated oil system at her home stopped working, the second time this has happened in the space of a year, after contacting the landlord she was told that due to the coronavirus he couldn’t get anyone out to the property, this mother then had to pay out of her own pocket to have someone call out. The tradesman had to change out some components which according to him were outdated and faulty and they should have been changed long ago.


The landlord in this case knew about the existing problem with his property's heating system after having his friend supposedly “fix it" months earlier, yet he used the convenient excuse of coronavirus to shirk his responsibilities to his tenants.

It’s worth noting that the young mother in question is a frontline health worker at a Belfast hospital, if she has to continue her job in the current climate then surely this slum landlord can lift a phone and pay some of his extortionate rent benefits to sort a problem with his own property.

This is just one story relating to slum landlords taking advantage of their tenants, many others are singing from the same hymn sheet.


It has further been brought to our attention that shady businesses and property agencies have been offering destitute homeowners quick sales of their properties. Just this week one such crowd, 'Property Buyers NI' used the postal service to deliver leaflets across Belfast offering to buy homes quick and with cash.


After some digging around we have found out that these companies are buying quick with cash because they are offering a heavily marked down value of the properties, they even had the audacity to state that if the owner was having trouble financially they would pay the current months mortgage and legal fees.

In a time when people are struggling financially these vultures have come knocking to prey on their vulnerabilities offering what at first glance seems to be a good deal.


We would appeal to anyone who finds themselves in this position to hold off jumping at the possibility of a quick cash sale with these parasites, because thats exactly what they are, parasites. There are services out there to help people trapped in such situations and that should be your first port of call.


Over the past few weeks it’s clear that the slum landlords and parasitic business funds have been taking full advantage of the hardships faced by working class people at this present time, but this type of activity will only continue and if left unchecked, get worse.


Belfast 32CSM will do what we can to assist those in need and will continue to highlight all cases of oppression within our communities.


Beir Bua.



https://www.32csm.org/blogger/post/5747146860143345065



 

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement have been contacted by our comrades in the Basque country and asked to highlight the deteriorating situation faced by Basque political prisoners held in Spanish jails.

This situation has come to a head in the Murcia Prison where political prisoners have embarked on various protests including hunger strikes, to challenge the ongoing mistreatment and conditions being imposed in the face of the current Covid-19 virus.


  The prisoners demands at this time are as follows:

  1. The freeing of vulnerable prisoners and those who are coming to the end of their sentences.

  2. To receive family visits.

  3. Access to materials to avoid being infected (gloves, sanitisers etc.).

  4. Carrying out of Covid-19 tests on prisoners and jailers.

 5. In the event of the death of a family member, the possibility of a prisoner going to the funeral or funeral home to pay their last respects.


From the beginning of the protests the Spanish oppressive treatment of the prisoners has escalated resulting in a hunger strike.

Patxi Ruiz a political prisoner held in Murcia prison received an injury that required medical treatment and was taken to the infirmary. 

Whilst there Patxi was refused pain management, there was no privacy and screws repeatedly demanded he shout out a prison number in order to be seen. The clinician tasked with treating Patxi told the guards to "Take this shit out of here".


 Over the years Patxi and his comrades have been pushed to their limits. From the 1998 peace talks, the 2011 permanent cessation of armed activities, the 2017 decommissioning of their weapons and their subsequent dissolving in 2018, ETA has received nothing but brutal treatment from the Spanish and their lackies in the Basque country.

Most of the political prisoners find themselves in jail as a result of tactics not seen since the time of Franco, political parties have been banned and their members imprisoned, newspapers have been closed down with editors and journalists tortured, Basque language academics are prosecuted and the list goes on. These things are not happening in some far away country many years ago, its happening today in an EU country.


Basque Political Prisoner Patxi Ruiz

  As a result of the current situation Patxi and four of his comrades have now embarked on a hunger and thirst strike and looking at our own history, we more than anyone know where this could lead, not just for our comrades and their families but for the wider societies in both Spain and the Basque country. Have Spain like England learned nothing from their disastrous involvement in other peoples countries? Spain would do well to learn from Englands mistakes in Ireland.

  We here know all too well the pain and heartache that this form of protest can bring to the families and to the people of the Basque country but, we also know how important international comradeship and support is at times like this and as such we call on all political, religious and human rights activists in Ireland to bring whatever pressure they can onto the Spanish government to end the situation in their prisons at this time. 


We for our part will get behind the campaign set out by the Basques and will do our bit in any way we can. 

 Beir Bua!

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