Basque peace group dissolves, says it's no longer needed

June 1, 2013 20:02

BILBAO - A peace movement set up 28 years ago to counter the violence of the Basque militant group ETA formally dissolved on Saturday, saying that it had achieved its objective now that ETA has laid down its arms.

Three hundred people congregated for a minute's silence in Bilbao's Circular Square, the scene of A Gesture for Peace's first protest, when 200 people gathered in silence to protest the murder of four people by ETA in 1985.ETA laid down weapons in October 2011 after four decades of armed struggle for independence for Basque lands in Spain and southern France that resulted in more than 800 deaths.

Those who gathered on Saturday included representatives of all the region's political parties as well as members of the movement. They released dozens of white balloons shaped like doves under grey skies in Bilbao.

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