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".
Sixteen years have gone by since the government of Gipuzkoa first announced the incinerator project. At that time there was 20% recycling in Gipuzkoa, but waste material separation had begun in many towns, and, as well as collecting less mixed refuse, they have also shown that it is possible to recycle 80% of waste material. But to do that, the anti-incinerator movement believes "the will to do it and intermediary work are required".
At the end of the demonstration two teachers from a school in the incinerator-affected town Lasarte-Oria explained the situation they are faced with. They underlined the possible consequences of having an incinerator 500 metres from their school. "Nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, methane, dioxins… We'll be breathing all of that it. They're also going to build high voltage lines near our school. Should we accept pollution near an already existing school?"
The demonstration organizers also reminded protesters of a piece of news which may be decisive: On 17th January the European Parliament stopped subsidising incinerators, "a serious blow to the incinerator's finances", in their words.
Manifestazio aurrean doazenek kartelak daramatzate birziklatzen ez den errefus kilo kopurua herriz herri aurkeztuta. Atez atekoa duten herriek ASKOZ gehiago birziklatzen dute. Oñatin 76 kg errefus sortzen dituzte pertsonako urtean. Donostian 289 kg Nork du arazoa hondakinekin? pic.twitter.com/rsdozKzzCx— Lander Arbelaitz (@larbelaitz) 2018(e)ko otsailak 24
Support for people to be tried for stopping the incinerator
At the demonstration there was wide-spread support for Ainhoa Intxaurrandieta and Iñaki Errazkin, members of the pro independence Basque left coalition Eh Bildu, who were ellected after the electoral win. When they were in office in Gipuzkoa they fulfilled their electoral promises and stopped the incinerator in 2013. They are going to be tried in April. Markel Olano's government has started the project once more and is taking the previous government members to court: “Iñaki and Ainhoa, we're with you!” was chanted time and again in Donostia.
The anti-incinerator movement described taking those two people to court as "disgraceful". "If there is to be a trial, let them try the corrupts who've spend enormous sums of our money on the incinerator."
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.
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.
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".