"Damages, public disorder and threats" and "attacking authority" are the crimes which the Spanish National Court has charged eight young Basques with.
The judges decided against trying them for "terrorist crimes" because it was not clear that what happened had "terrorist objectives" or that the people who took part were connected with "terrorist organisations". They have charged them, however, with "major abuse and hatred", arguing that the events took place "for ideological reasons and out of hate for the Civil Guard" (the Spanish special armed forces).
The judges decided to sentence the maximum punishments for "damages, public disorder and threats". Oihan Arnanz and Iñaki Abadi have been sentenced for 13 years; Jokin Unamuno and Adur Ramírez de Alda for 12. Jon Ander Cob, Julen Goikoetxea and Aratz Urrizola have been given 9 year sentences, while Ainara Urkijo has been given 2 years.
A few days after the sentence the Civil Guard arrested Jon Ander Cob, Aratz Urrizola, Iñaki Abad and Julen Goikoetxea; the others have already spent a year and a half in prison. The same day as the arrests 9,000 people demonstrated against them. The young people's parents have asked people to "carry on filling the streets".
A Cause for Anger
As a result of a brawl between a group of locals from Altsasu (Navarre, Basque Country), two Civil Guards in civilian clothing and their sentimental partners in a bar in Altsasu at 5 am on 15th October, 2017, one of the agents had an injured ankle and seven young people were imprisoned. They were each in danger of facing between ten and fifteen years in prison.
The case caused great anger and the prisoners' relatives and friends have led a ceaseless campaign for justice. 20,000 people came together in Altsasu shortly after the arrests. After spending a year and a half going from town to town asking for support, on 14th April more than 50,000 people filled the centre of Iruñea behind the slogan "It isn't Terrorism; Give us Justice".
The case has been followed by many newspapers such as The Guardian, Al Jazeera and the New York Times.
A Spanish court in Navarre (Basque Country) sentenced five men to nine years in prison for gang raping a teenage girl in 2016 in Iruñea, during the world-known Sanfermin celebration. Now they will be able to leave prison, after a controversial judicial decision. The bail of 6,000 euros imposed by the judge has generated outrage among the Basques.
Wednesday 13th June, Altsasu. Banners saying "Leave Altsasu Alone" decorate the balconies in the town. You can feel the pain, but no grief or resignation. To the contrary: the town's solidarity and strength is palpable. There are three or four locals having their afternoon coffee at Koxka Bar. 606 days have gone by since the brawl which took place there between some young locals and two Civil Guards and their sentimental partners. That is where it all started, on a market... [+]
Gure Esku Dago ('It's in Our Hands', a platform in favour of the right to decide) needed 100,000 people to form a human chain linking Donostia, Bilbao and Gasteiz. According to the organizers, 175,000 people came together to connect the three Basque cities.
A member of the 'Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak' movement ('Welcome to the Refugees') has told Radio Bilbao that over the last three months no ships from Saudi Arabia have docked at Bilbao. Over the previous sixteen months they had loaded 455 containers. According to OEE, social pressure has made them use another port.
The Bizitza da handiena ('Life is the Greatest Thing') campaign was held in Donostia from 19th to 27th May. 63 citizens' movements and trades unions joined in with the "social struggle week" and proclaimed the need for a "citizens' capital". Different trenches have made up a single front. The anti-tourism protest got its message across, the World Tourism Organization holding its highest level meeting in city during the same week as the protest movement.
A year has gone by since Iberdrola electric company and the Basque Government cut the power on the Errekaleor district of Gasteiz. The project then became known to many people, and there was a huge wave of solidarity. Amongst other things, they collected € 10,000 to create their own energy system and now, one year later, they want to thank everybody who took part in the fund-raising on May 20th, which they are calling 100 mila esker ("A Hundred Thousand Thanks") Day.
Thousands of people came together at Herri Urrats (The People's Steps), the festivity which Basque schools (ikastolas) in the northern Basque Country hold every year. Seaska ikastola federation's request to the French government for more teachers was the main subject of conversation this year.
We went through a cathartic process on October 20th, 2011, when they renounced violence, but now, too, writing that ETA has disappeared is no small thing. When you realise everything that means, a shiver goes down your spine. There have been too many events and feelings, too much suffering over the last 60 years for it to be otherwise.
The punishment for a group of men who attacked a women has caused anger in the Basque Country and in Spain. Five men have been tried for attacking a woman during the 2016 San Fermin festivities at Iruñea, Navarre. The Navarrese High Court's reading of the sentence caused considerable media interest: each of the men has been condemned to a nine-year sentence, expenses of 50,000 euros and a restraining order.
On 14 April the biggest demonstration in Iruñea for a long time was held in support of the ten young people from Altsasu, Navarre, who are going to be tried in Madrid. Some people thought it was the biggest demonstration ever held there: the municipal police state that 38,000 people took part, while the organizers say that 50,000 did. Claiming that a brawl in which they took part was "terrorism", the prosecutor has called for them each to be imprisoned between 50 and 62 years.