Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

“The Basque struggle is rejuvenating, very fast”

  • In Euskal Herria Euskaraz will hold for the first time Arraigo Week from 22 to 28 April. The EHE has prepared five national activities, and from there the Basque people will organize different popular dynamics. We interviewed Sugoi Etxarri, EHE member. For him, “the street struggle has disappeared a lot” and they prepare Arraigo Week to “recover the street”.
Sugoi Etxarri eta Intza Gurrutxaga EHEko kideek aurkeztu zuten Harrotze Astea. Argazkia: Gorka RUBIO | FOKU.

16 April 2024 - 07:30

This is the first time that EHE has organised Arraigo Week. Why have you organized it? What are the objectives?

In the past, the EHE organised weeks and days of Suppression, with which it was intended to influence the Basque Country, especially from the linguistic landscape of the street. Faced with the relative disappearance of the street struggle for the Basque Country, we wanted to recover something similar, to do a collective exercise of awareness. However, we wanted to go further, not only in the linguistic landscape, but also in other areas.

And what needs? Seeing that the Basque cultural activity, the movement for the Basque Country, is quite stagnant in the correction, we saw the need to recover the streets, to act otherwise, not precisely with words less measures, more disruptive, a little more naughty.

I should like to add something else. It is OK to extend the Basque community, but it is also important to consolidate it, and to presume what we are the members. We have to say without shame that we in our people have the right to live in our language. At Harrotze Astea we have a good opportunity to take a step along this road.

Who have you invited?

Any Basque group or individual. Especially to those who believe that the current approaches in favor of the Basque Country are not enough, to those who see the need to reactivate consciousness.

How will Arraigo Week take place?

From EHE we will guarantee five national initiatives, five direct actions, of very different styles and formats. In addition, other activities, promoted by Euskaltzales or other local actors, will be carried out by municipalities, neighbourhoods and districts. We have created a guide to having criteria or ideas in the organization of actions. Anyone wishing to participate must apply for the guide We have asked local agents to spread the actions through the hashtag #euskaraztaharro.

"Seeing that the Basque cultural activity, the movement for the Basque Country, is quite stagnant in the correction, we saw the need to recover the streets, to act otherwise, not precisely with words less measures, more disruptive, a little more naughty".

They recover the street, they say. How is the street?

The broad movement in favor of the Basque Country, the Basque cultural activity, in recent years, has, in general, been quite low in intensity, and has aimed to request changes that should be made institutionally, or to work social consensus. This work is necessary, but we have also forgotten Basque cultural activity on the street. By this I mean that instead of saying things exactly or with such measured words, we have to tell them how we feel and live them, without being politically as correct, without being afraid to offend anyone, more raw. What the Basques need to live in Basque as Euskaldunes is to be said clearly and directly. In other words, if we need an official, then we need an official, if we need a Basque doctor, we need a Basque doctor.

We must point out to those responsible for our violations of rights, mark what prevents us from living in Basque, undress the basquewashings. It is necessary because, if not, our oppression between nice words is camouflaged.

And do the Basques risk losing pressure, tension?

That's the other thing. The Basques, in recent years, believe that our language is in the process of saving, tension has been lost in the environment, and it is a stagnation in the socio-linguistic evolution of the Basque country, among other things.

We must recover the tension, increase the confrontation with those who refuse to live in Basque. We must put our rights on the table so that the Basques also see that the language is not saved.

It has awakened consciousness. Do you therefore see a danger of forgetting that there is oppression?

Some students at the institute where I work told me that it is normal that when there are ten Euskaldunes and a Castilian speaker all is in Spanish. This shows how a general logic has been imposed, totally contrary to Euskera. Depoliticization, the search for mere practicality, produces a loss of consciousness. Conflicts are invisible. We must once again highlight the oppression we live in. Feminism has managed to visualize, quite well, gender oppression and look at all people with those glasses. It is up to us to offer and socialise language glasses.

"Depoliticization, the search for mere practicality, causes a loss of consciousness. Conflicts are invisible. We must re-emphasise the oppression we live in."

Use the terms ‘harrotu’, ‘harrotze’… Are we Basques bitter?

It is no coincidence that the motto of the Korrika is Harro, and that the Euskaltzales Youth Network has used a similar motto. As a result of judicial, media, etc. aggression, there is a resurgence of awareness of our situation of inferiority. We've realized our complexes, our vulnerability situation, and therefore we need collective empowerment, collective pride. We have set ourselves in different meanings of the word and with them we represent what we want to achieve with Arraigo Week: lift the powders, lift what remains hidden (uncovered); even from the travesura, we are astonished. We do not want pride, but pride.

How is EHE?

Since the process of agitation ["The feeling is that some institutions want to buy the silence of the Basque culture", ARGIA, 18-04-2021], the motor group has been completely renovated. We have entered new and young people. We are strengthening and expanding the network. EHE has doubled the number of active members in the last year. We are with a new hope and desire. More and more people take us into account, they address us to drive the Basque country. The trend is upward. We believe that the needs we have discussed are seen by many people.

They're forming community. They said you would drive alliances.

The community we are developing at the moment is far from the classic model of militancy, in which there were local, regional and national groups. We thought we needed flexibility to get militancies of different kinds, and now we have different networks, different networks, and everyone decides what, where and how they want to contribute. We have prioritized the creation of groups in the capitals, because there are a lot of people who accumulate and we thought we needed to push. In general, rather than creating groups, we work on the contributions of members, we are focused on the integration of the Basque people.

As far as alliances are concerned, we are, of course, working mostly with the cultural agents of the Basque Country, with particular emphasis on inciting from within the Council of Euskalgintza. On the other hand, we are creating alliances with youth movements, also with other agents of the trade union movement, popular, feminist and anti-racist, for example.

"It is often said that young people are asleep, that we are not fighting. I disagree. As for the struggle for Euskera, there is
a fairly clear resurrection, and the struggle for Euskera is getting younger, very quickly, a great change has taken place in the last five years".

Some say young people are in the gym. How do you perceive young people?

I disagree. It is often said that young people are asleep, that we are not fighting. Firstly, we must bear in mind that we are much less young than ten, twenty and, of course, 30 years ago. Having said that, I see that hundreds and thousands of young people are involved in fighting, and I think there has been an increase in recent years.

As far as the fight for the Basque country is concerned, it is quite clear that there is a revival, and the fight for the Basque country is getting younger, very quickly, there has been a great change in the last five years.

It is no coincidence, two years ago the Euskaltzales Youth Network was created, in EHE we have incorporated a new generation, and we are not a young tractor, but the presence of young people is evident and growing. It is monitoring many other players in the Basque industry.

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