Big stink in San Sebastian. The pro-ETA psychopaths ("la izquierda abertzale") had a demo yesterday. The Basque Interior Department (law enforcement) tried to ban the demo on the grounds that it might provoke violence or rioting. The Basque Supreme Court overruled Interior on Saturday on the grounds that there was no evidence that the demo was organized by Batasuna, ETA's political branch; the permit to demonstrate was applied for by a private citizen. The Mayor of San Sebastian, the Socialist Odon Elorza, says the Basque Supremes are nuts.
So the psychopaths had themselves a lovely time, shouting "Gora ETA!" over and over in the public streets. Arnaldo Otegi, ETA-Batasuna's spokesman, the most hated person in Spain, gave a fiery speech in which he said there would have been no deaths or bombs if "ETA's proposal to advance toward a national, democratic space for the Basque people had been accepted". Sounds to me like he's speaking in the name of ETA. I'd arrest him and charge him with apology for terrorism, which is illegal here, and then lock his ass up. (Note: in this context "apology" doesn't mean saying sorry, it means arguing in favor of.) Three psychopaths with their faces covered, which is also against the law here, came out on stage and torched a Spanish flag, which is also illegal. Otegi's comment was "Wow, the Spanish flag sure stinks".
Now, I'm not big on symbols. I think burning the American flag or any other national symbol (as long as you bought your own flag to burn) ought to be legal, and I do not think that a secular society ought to protect religious symbols. Of course, if you knock down some church's cross because you hate Christians, for example, then we bust you for vandalism and property destruction and anything else we can throw at you, but we don't bust you for desecration, because that shouldn't be a crime if you're torching your own Star of David or whatever. We consider you a bigot and an asshole, but that symbol is your property and you can do whatever you want with it.
I do think that burning the Spanish flag, though, shows hate for both Spain and the Spanish people. Sure, it ought to be legal. It's also despicable and shows exactly what kind of people we're dealing with here.