The Spanish government, via its Basque Autonomous Community representative Javier de Andres, has desisted from its attempt to fine ARGIA journalist Axier Lopez. As a result of the magazine's appeal against the fine, a trial was to be held in Gasteiz on March 13th. Without having to go to trial, ARGIA is free from having to pay a fine for its journalism.
On March 3rd 2016, ARGIA was fined for reporting on a street operation carried out by the Spanish police. In the year since, the Spanish government has defended its explanations for punishing and fining ARGIA. Conservative party PP, completely alone in political terms, has been opposed by many stakeholders: all journalist associations in the Basque Country and in the Spanish State, many international defenders of freedom of expression and the free press, and the Spanish Ombudsman, amongst others.
They wanted to punish ARGIA because of this Tweet:
— Axier Lopez (@axierL) 2016(e)ko martxoak 3
Just a few days before the trial, the Spanish government has decided to relinquish its claims, claiming that there is some difficulty with the form of the fine. The government has now claimed, when the case was about to reach court, that the fine had not be properly administered one year ago. In spite of saying the exact opposite then, the Spanish government has chosen to relinquish the fine rather than see its Gag Law in the courts. Claiming that there were problems of form with Article 36.23 of the Gag Law and the right to record the police, they have refused to offer further explanations.
This was the first instance of the Gag Law's Article 36.23 being used in the Spanish state against a journalist. And the first victory against it as well.
36.23 is one of the Gag Law's most fiercely opposed articles. This article makes it possible to impose fines of between 601 and 30.000 euros for broadcasting police agents' photographs, or personal or professional data, whenever "the agents' or their relatives' security is put at risk".
It is in the police's power to judge the "appropriateness" of those photos or data, with no independent judges or other entities taking part in the decision. The police becomes the judge and jury. Most civil and political rights groups and journalist associations have protested that the Article infringes the right to provide information about civil servants' work.
The victory achieved in this case will be an important precedent in corroborating that recording the police's work is a civil and press right. ARGIA, too, has proclaimed this, and the most recent example of this is the "Recording the Police is not a Crime" series of reports, which Ahotsa, Topatu, Ekinklik and Hala Bedi local media have drawn up in collaboration with the Eleak/Libre movement.
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.
“After taking part in a four-year long process, we have opened a new playground at our school. It will give boys and girls the same opportunities, they will be surrounded by nature and it has come from their dreams." This is now the new playground at Kurutziaga School at Durango, Bizkaia, has been described. It will be officially opened on 24th April.
After making preparatives over the last few months, BiziLagunEkin ('with our neighbours') platform has been set up in Donostia. "The current model of tourism in the city concerns us. We are a meeting place for people from different ideologies and ways of life. What brings us together is a concern about the consequences of tourism in our city on local people's lives".
The Government of Navarre (Basque Country) has decided to offer public health care to the people who have been excluded from it; for instance, immigrants without documents.
A pension of less than 1,080 Euros. That is the figure which the Pentsionistak Martxan (Pensioners on the March) platform has set forward as the lowest dignified pension, and on 17th March tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the main Basque cities in support. The people furthest from that objective in the Basque Autonomous Community (Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa) are women.
In 2017 somebody at Sarriguren (in the Iruñea area of Navarre) suggested that part of the town's participative budget be used to create a natural wooded area along the canal there.
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.