We already went over the IRA struggle in a previous post.
I support most of these movements.
I support the armed Corsicans in Corsica fighting for independence from France. They are very careful about their bombs and bullets and rarely even hurt an innocent person, much less kill one. They mostly blow up unoccupied second homes being built on the coast. Sometimes there are people in the homes. In that case, they evacuate them so they can blow it up. Sometimes they strafe police cars and police stations, but that usually doesn’t cause any casualties. Sometimes they bomb police stations, but that usually doesn’t cause any casualties either.
I can hardly think of a more moral guerrilla movement. All they do is cause property damage and scare people. So what?
I also support the ETA in the Basque Country. They’ve declared a cease-fire anyway, and since then, they’ve been hit with endless raids and arrests. If that’s the way it’s going to be, why not take up arms again? Even when they were fighting, they just killed security forces and sometimes a few traitors. They gave ample warning of all their bombs so people could get out of the way.
Plus all of the Basque pro-independence youth movements and political parties have been outlawed as “wings of the ETA.” There are continuous arrests of these unarmed militants. Now that peaceful struggle is outlawed, why not take up arms again? However, the Basque language is in quite good shape these days. They have really turned things around in the past 30 years. It’s not in good shape in France, but even there, things are looking up.
The truth is that Spain and France are basically fascist countries. The fascists never left power in Italy, Spain or Portugal. They’ve been ruled by the Hard Right behind the scenes ever since fascism started. That’s who really runs those countries, no matter how many ruling “Socialist” parties there are. That’s why the Basques and Corsicans have to fight. Until they get a vote for self-determination, they need to fight.
It’s true that Spain has done better than France. Basque, Aranese and Catalan are recognized as official languages of France. The Catalan government mandates schooling in Catalan, TV and radio is in Catalan, signs must be bilingual, etc. This reasonable state of affairs has caused the Spanish speakers to rise up and scream that they are being discriminated against by Catalan fascists. Ridiculous, no?
I also support the Catalan movement, but it’s generally unarmed these days. Surely, they have a right to self-determination too? The Catalan language is actually in pretty good shape, but the Catalans are always screaming about it anyway. There are a few warning signs here and there, and there’s some hostility to Catalan on the part of local governments, especially in Murcia, France, the Balearic Islands and Valencia.
In Brittany, the movement is in very bad shape. I support autonomy there, not independence. The armed movement is dead. A bomb in a MacDonald’s in 2001 killed a young girl employee, and since then, the Breton movement has been more or less unarmed due to public revulsion over the act. The Bretons were very careful to try not to hurt innocent people with their bombs, but it looks like in this case, they fucked up.
There’s a pretty simple solution to all of these conflicts. Just give the separatists or autonomists a vote. In Brittany, they want simple stuff like Breton classes or bilingual or immersion programs in school. They badly need this because frankly, the Breton language is in catastrophic shape.
The French have always resisted this, a centralizing tendencies dating back to Jacobinism. The French Left has always been infected with Jacobinism due to the history of their Left, hence the somewhat fascist nature of the French Left. They frequently attack movements for minority languages as a reactionary indulgence.
Unfortunately, Jacobinism has sunk deep roots into the French body politic, and most French are Jacobins out of instinct alone it seems. At this point, they are probably genetically selecting for it.