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."
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.
"Damages, public disorder and threats" and "attacking authority" are the crimes which the Spanish National Court has charged eight young Basques with.
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.
“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.