Monday, March 12, 2007

LAST SATURDAY'S massive protest against Zapatero's anti-terrorist policies must have struck a real nerve indeed, because Socialist party officials and its allies are responding like mad. Apparently they are forgetting that the Spanish constitution contemplates the freedom of opinion and assembly not only to them -when they were protesting the Iraq war- but to everybody. It's a freedom they have been granting to Batasuna, ETA's political arm labeled as a terrorist organization by both the European Union and the US which was outlawed by Spain's Supreme Court, but that they seem to want to deny to the Popular Party now.

A few samples (all links in Spanish):

- Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, deputy prime minister, called the Popular Party "agitators" and reproached them of basing its strategy in "lies and propaganda." Remember, this is not a mere party official, but the number two in Spain's government. That is, she represents us all, not only the people who voted for her party.

- Manuel Chavez, the Socialist Party chairman and president of the Andalusian regional government, says that the Popular party has proven that it's less focused in the end of ETA than the end of the Socialist government. No less. He's probably dialing Joe McCarthy's number now.

- Luis Yáñez, a Socialist Euro MP, says the crowd reminded him of the demonstrations during the Franco regime in support of the dictator.

- Jose Blanco, PSOE's organization secretary, that is, one of the highest officials and main spokesman, says that the PP thinks that there were many people attending the protest, but that it was half of the people who have been killed in the Iraq war (implying that it was a war that Aznar's PP administration supported). He draws his 300,000 figure from his party calculations (remember, the probably swollen figure given by the PP was 2.2 million; quite unlikely, but no less unlikely than those 300,000), and from the discredited Lancet study which stated that 600,000 people have died in Iraq as a consequence of the war.

- Jose Blanco, again, saying there's an increasing number of people who believe that we must defend Spain from a leader like Rajoy, the chairman of the conservative Popular Party.

- Antonio Pastor, Socialist spokesman in the Basque parliament, said that the protest was "an unusual exercise, a masquerade, an act of shamlessness, of disloyalty against the state and of contempts towards its institutions." [for peacefully protesting on the streets?] He also said that the conservatives only have the elections in mind, which indicates its "moral and political misery" and that they "represent the far-right rather than the civilized right."

And that's only during the first 24 hours after the demonstration.

Not a small feat for people who have been chastising Bush all these years, saying he crushes the opposition's freedoms and labels his opponents with bad words. Just imagine he, and GOP officials, would have said a tenth of the above about Code Pinkers and other anti-war groups.

This country resembles Venezuela more and more.