On 6th October thousands of people took to the streets of Gasteiz (Araba, Basque Country) for Okupatu Gasteiz Eguna (Gasteiz Squatters' Day). Their aim was to congratulate the city's squatter movements and self-managed projects and, in spite of the city council's censorship, proclaim that the streets belongs to everybody. The day started with a colourful demonstration, but that was followed by a festive spirit which lasted until the early hours of the next day.
Thousands of people came together on the streets of Gasteiz to celebrate the anniversaries of Hala Bedi Radio (35 years), the self-managed Youth Houses and social centres (30 years), Auzolana squatters' pilota court (10 years) and Errekaleor “free neighbourhood” (5 years). Gasteiz City Council forbade the initial plan and so, after modifying it, the multitudinous demonstration was held in the city centre.
People came together in four columns, each starting from a different part of the city: feminist and prisoners' rights groups; young people and pensioners; the squatters' movement; and ecologists and people in favour of refugees' rights.
A few minutes before the demonstration started two of the organisers spoke to the media: "Today has already been a success. Thousands of us have got together today in the streets of Gasteiz in spite of censorship. They'll never steal these streets from us: they belong to all of us. Thousands of us are here today defending public spaces, just as we did 13 years ago when the Youth House was under threat, and as we are today in defence of the right to use the streets of Gasteiz without censorship."
Actors and improvisational poets took part in the final ceremony, and many people sang the song specially prepared for the day: Bihurri eta harro, súbete al carro (Rebellious and proud, don't live in a cloud).