We will examine EAJ and PSOE's proposals for reforming the Citizen's Security Law – the Muzzle Law – in the following lines. As well as the the initiative against it taken by the Eleak-Libre organization.
The Spanish No Somos Delito ('We are not a Crime') association has analysed EAJ (Basque Nationalist Party) and PSOE's (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party proposal: "It is an attempt to change the law, but it does not actually alter anything substantial, avoiding any real discussion of citizens' security".
They believe that PSOE's proposal combines the worst of the Muzzle Law and Corcuera's Law (1992), using imprecise, general legal concepts and leaving citizens unprotected. With regard to EAJ, according to the platform, they talk about the right to strike and foreigners' rights in the introduction, but do nothing to develop those points in the articles.
"EAJ's perspective on citizens' rights is very worrying: it puts protecting basic rights and property on the same level. According to their text, public areas are 'for the public's use and pleasure', and not areas for enjoying rights. PSOE and PP (People's Party) have the same point of view, and confuse citizens' rights with keeping public order." In their proposals, they keep one of the main points of the Muzzle Law: what the police says counts as proof. In practice, this means that the right to defence is lost.
With regard to the right to demonstrate and hold meetings, PSOE's proposals are still very limiting. EAJ's texts opens the door to spontaneous, non-permitted meetings, but only in situations of emergency. In addition to that, "EAJ keeps the idea of expelling migrants in the heat of the moment, straight away, and that means criminalising poverty."
There are also some improvements, "but not many". In several cases, PSOE reduces fines. The best changes come from EAJ, which suggests removing fines from many cases, for instance for taking unpermitted photographs of security forces, meeting in front of the Parliament or the Senate, and obstructing streets.
Eleak-Libre opposes the Muzzle Law
Although the Basque Parliament committed itself to not applying the Muzzle Law on June 22nd, 2016, the Basque Autonomous Police used it 8,087 times in 2015, and 2,857 times 2016 until the end of July. Estefania Beltran de Heredia, the Basque Government's Security minister, said that they would continue to apply the law.
The Parliament of Navarre is going to request data about the use of the law and stop applying it. The Basque Autonomous Community Parliament was asked to take three measures: firstly, confirming its opposition to the Muzzle Law; secondly, publicly protesting against any use of the law, and protecting anybody punished under its terms; thirdly, confirming that it will not apply it.
What can you do if you are punished under the terms of the Muzzle Law? Eleak-Libre's telephone number will be provided, along with those of the lawyers working locally with each association, and their e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. If somebody punished decided to protest or disobey, the association will provide advice. The association is going to publish a guidebook about citizens' rights. The "Record the Police" movement has also been set up – the first three videos are already on the Internet – along with Ahotsa, Topatu, Hala Bideo and ARGIA. Finally, the association wants to put together a database about all police initiatives which violate civil and political rights.
The Basque Country Feminist Movement has given its first evaluation of the day. They underline that it was "a complete success", as can be seen in the photographs. They see the strike's success as turning point, and say it is time to take real measures "once and for all". According to the feminist movement, 230,000 women demonstrated in the Basque Country on the day.
Over recent years the FCC company has been in charge of keeping the streets of Hernani (Gipuzkoa) clean, just as in many other Basque towns. But from May onwards Hernani's own Garbitania public service will be doing that. Votes from EH Bildu and Orain Hernani (Podemos) passed switching the service from the private sector back to the public sector.
Basque political prisoner Xabier Rey Urmeneta has died in Puerto de Santa Maria Prison (Cadiz, Spain), more than 1,000 kilometres from his home in Iruñea.
A demonstration had been organised for 14th April in Iruñea in support of the three young people who have been held in prison for almost a year and a half, and to demand they be given a fair trial. After a pub brawl with two members of the Civil Guard (Spanish armed forces), they were arrested and have been held in custody since then.
Last Saturday the anti-incinerator movement organised a mass demonstration in Donostia-San Sebastian (Basque Country). They gave the provincial government and its leader, Markel Olano, a message: "Use your energy recycling, not just burning refuse".
Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, has replied to a request made by Euskaltzaindia (the Royal Academy of the Basque Language), and stated that the official signs as the Tour goes through Senpere and Ezpeleta on 28th July will be bilingual, in Basque and French.
This year is the Eusko's fifth birthday. This solidarity and ecology-focused local currency is used in Lapurdi, Lower Navarre and Zuberoa (the northern Basque Country, which is under French administration). It is strongly supported by both citizens and institutions, and the aim is to continue enlarging the network which uses it. To celebrate the fifth anniversary, a "great family-style party" has been organised for 4th March.
On the morning of 20th February, 2003, I picked up the phone and heard Joxemari Irazusta's voice: "The Civil Guard have arrested Pello Zubiria." Pello? Joxemari told me the little he knew about it, and I couldn't believe it. I got back into bed; I couldn't digest the news. After turning around for a couple of minutes I got up again and set off for Lasarte (Gipuzkoa), the place where we edit ARGIA.
The European Court of Human Rights has condemned the Spanish State for torturing Igor Portu and Mattin Sarasola. The judges decided that Spain had contravened the 3rd clause of the European Convention. The Spanish State has to pay the two men 30,000 and 20,000 Euros, respectively, "for moral damages".
Andoain Town Council (Gipuzkoa, Basque Country) has signed an agreement with Fiare. Socially excluded citizens, and those in danger of being so, will be able to ask for loans from the ethical bank without the guarantees required by traditional banks.