On 13th May, 2017 at Usurbil station (Gipuzkoa, Basque Country) Donostian Martin Goitiandia, who was protesting against the Spanish Gag Law, was seriously injured by a train. Now the Basque police have taken him, along with the person who waited with him for the ambulance to arrive, to court. The trial will be held on 5th March in Donostia.
After the Basque police carried out its investigation, Martin Goitiandia and the person who waited with him for the ambulance are going to be tried for damages caused. Two Euskotren employees have also been called to declare.
We interviewed Goitiandia back in June, and he answered as follows with the regard to the possible legal consequences: "I was asleep when the police arrived at the hospital. They saw my parents. They asked for my measurements in order to investigate the accident. There were a few other people at Usurbil station and the police asked them questions, but not me. They opened an inquiry and included the person who waited with me for ambulance in that. He is a minor. At first he was called as a witness, but, finally, he has been charged with causing material damage."
The accident happened at Usurbil station when a group of 15 people from the pro-civil disobedience Eleak-Libre movement were painting a sign saying EAJ, Mozal Legeari ez (Basque Right, No to the Gag Law'). Many Basque and international activists have spoken out against the controversial law's criminalisation of the right to provide information, freedom of speech and demonstration.
Planning to stop the train coming from Donostia, Martin Goitiandia stood in front of it, but the driver did not see him and he got trapped under it. He spent more than three weeks in hospital, for two of which he was in intensive care. He had a broken thigh bone, his pelvis broken in three places, three cracks in his backbone, a great blow to his head, burns and other wounds. He was in an induced coma for 12 days.
Over the following days there were meetings, painting, slogans and protest initiatives in support of the Donostian activist and his family.
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.
The Basque feminist movement gave the details of the strike which it has called for 8th March at Donostia's Tabakalera International Contemporary Art Centre.
"We are announcing the biggest demonstration ever to be held in the Basque Country" was how last week's message began. The organisers of Gure Esku Dago presented the project in front of the Donostia Eureka! science museum. They want to link the Basque cities of Donostia, Bilbao and Gasteiz on 10th June, 2018, and they will need at least 100,000 people to do so.
Susana Uribetxeberria, Basque prisoner Xabier Ugarte Villar's wife, had an accident on 27th January. It happened at dusk after she had visited her husband in prison, and while fortunately she was not hurt, this was the first accident in 2018 caused by the dispersion policy for prisoners.
Jesus Mari Txurruka was to make his declaration at Bergara municipal court in Gipuzkoa last Saturday, the 20th of January. His grandfather's brother died in a Hamburg concentration camp in 1945; Franco's forces had killed his great-grandmother in cold blood nine years earlier at her farmstead at Elgeta in the Basque Country. But Jesus Mari is not going to make any such declaration. And nor are the other 13 victims' relatives who should have done so in January.
The murders which took place in the Otxarkoaga district of Bilbao on the 18th of January have started a debate. Karlos Renedo, a member of Otxarkoaga local association, does not agree with the point of view expressed in much of the media and by many individuals.
On 28th of April, it will be 30 years since the first kick: the kick to the door of the bishop’s medieval garage that nobody imagined would start such a long journey. Meetings, symbolic occupations, speeches, interventions in council meeting were the actions that carved out a path for the Gaztetxe and for squatting Gasteiz.
Artze was an important figure in the renaissance of Basque culture from the 1960's onwards, along with other members of the avant-garde Ez Dok Amairu movement, set up in the last years of the Spanish dictatorship. Born at Usurbil, Gipuzkoa, in 1939, he died at home on the 12th of January after an illness.
The Bizitzeko Alde Zaharra ('Old Town Alive') organization is up and going in Iruñea, Navarre. Many stakeholders got together at Iruñea's Maravillas Youth House (Youth Houses are community squats) to find a solution to the transformation taking place in the historical Old Town district.