Tens of thousands of Basques held hands in a 76-mile long human chain on Sunday in a demonstration to demand the Spanish government allow let them to vote to break away and form their own country, according to an AFP report.
The chain stretched from Durango, the historic Basque town in which 500 died when it was attacked by the Luftwaffe in 1937 at the request of General Franco, to Pamplona, a city founded by the Romans and which was the capital of the former Kingdom of Navarre, and which has a large Basque-speaking population.
Organisers called the Basque region event “It’s in our hands.” Many participants were draped in red, white and green Basque flags.
It was inspired by a similar demonstration held in September in Catalonia when hundreds of thousands of people showed their support for independence by joining hands along a stretch of the Mediterranean coast.
The demonstration on Sunday was part of a peaceful independence movement which has grown since the violent separatist organisation ETA announced in February it would put its arsenal “under seal” and “out of operational use,” as the Provisional IRA agreed to do under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.