Monday, 17 November 2008

Breton Independence - Recent Activity


On Monday three Breton activists - Gael Roblin, Kristian Georgeault and Paskal Laize - will appear in a special court in Paris accused of being implicated in the Breton Revolutionary Army (ARB) and the bombing of a MacDonalds restaurant in Quevert in 2000.

Gael was released from prison in 2004, Paskal in 2005, because there was no evidence to link either of them to the Quevert bombing. Gael and Paskal strenuously deny any involvement with the ARB and both served four and five years respectively, in remand, awaiting trial,for a crime neither committed.

Kristian on the other hand does not deny that he was involved with the ARB in the past. He served six years in prison for admitting his association with the ARB. But not a shred of evidence links Kristian to the Quevert bombing.

There are those who will say that there is no smoke without fire. But this would be to misunderstand the motives for the previous trial, to ignore its findings, as well as misundertand the motives for the current re-trial.

After the Quevert bomb went off in 2000 the French state - flailing about wildly and indiscriminately because they didnt know who did it and because public outrage in Paris demanded Breton heads to be cracked - came down hard on ALL activists who supported Breton independence.

Over a hundred Breton activists were arrested in the weeks following the 2000 bombing. Paris was screaming for revenge. Nine prominent Breton actvists were immediately detained without trial. The subsequent trial in 2004 of Gael, Paskal and Kristian was a political show trial with no other purpose than to justify the 2000 crackdown and appease the Paris media that "something was being done".

Now the Paris prosecutors, egged on by the viciously anti-Breton President, Nicholas Sarkozy, are once again stirring up anti-Breton sentiments.

Brittany is a country of 4 million people - a Celtic country roughly comparable in size to Scotland, Ireland or Wales - with its own indigenous Celtic language and culture. The French government are utterly opposed to the break up the French state and routinely attack Breton activists, as well as trying to suppress the Breton language. This is another such attack. One of many.

If there was any evidence that Gael, Kristian or Paskal had been involved in the Quevert bombing I would not be writing this article. But not a scrap of evidence exists. This is why I would hope that anyone who agrees with the principle of natural justice will follow this trial, raise it where possible/necessary, and send messages of solidarity and support to the three falsely-accused Bretons.

There is a rally today in Rennes to demonstrate solidarity with the three accused. I'll post photos and updates of the trial next week.

In solidarity

Kevin Williamson

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