A dictionary of Spanish history and culture
Kale borroka (Basque for street fighting) is the name for the widespread tactic of urban rioting in the Basque Country by nationalist youths belonging to the abertzale left, closely linked to ETA. Tactics include: destroying public property (burning rubbish containers, burning buses, attacking offices, smashing light poles,etc.), destroying private property (burning cars, vandalising shops, etc.), armed and hostile aggression against police, promoting and distributing ETA propaganda, fighting in bars. Some of the most serious examples of kale borroka have involved buses being set on fire while passengers are still on board.
Kale borroka arose in the early 1990s and was inspired by the Palestinian intifada whose plight bears absolutely no resemblance to the Basque situation except in the fantasies of the instigators of this urban warfare-cum-terrorism. It forms part of the strategy which ETA terms the socialization of suffering which seeks to mark out new and wider sectors of society as potential targets.
Bloody bequest (The Guardian)
“Waiting in the wings to carry the torch of independence are members of Kale Borroka (Urban Fight). They are the next generation, aged 16-25. Those who excel within Kale Borroka are marked out as future ETA commandos. Urcko Manzisidor, now 23, was the head of the Vizcaya Kale Borroka until he was arrested during the third year of an engineering degree. He explains that Kale Borroka looks to Northern Ireland for inspiration. Every night incidents are linked to the group; cars and cashpoints are burned and homes of the Ertzaintza are attacked. “Kale Borroka is a collective. It is a member of the movement of Basque Liberation. If not, it would be hooliganism… hundreds of juveniles have been arrested and put in prison for that reason.”
SPAIN: ETA’S KILLING CAMPAIGN AND ACTS OF ”STREET VIOLENCE (Amnesty International)
“Amnesty International is deeply concerned about the new wave of killings and attempted killings perpetrated by the Basque armed group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna(ETA) since January 2000 and directed in the main at civilian targets. Members of Amnesty International are appealing to ETA’s designated representatives to bring to the armed group’s attention the concerns that have been repeatedly expressed by Amnesty International, as well as its concerns about intimidatory and life-threatening acts of ”street violence” or ”urban struggle” (”kale borroka”) by radical Basque nationalist groups.”
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