Over recent weeks a public building in Nabarreria Street in Iruñea (Navarre, Basque Country) has become identified with social struggle. Maravillas gaztetxe or youth centre –a self-managed Basque community centre– It has been closed several times by the Government of Navarre and reoccupied by citizens.
Citizens took the building over for the first time in 2017, turning it into a youth centre closely involved with community life in Iruñea old town from the start, offering numerous events and services there. But the Government of Navarre has emptied the building repeatedly, using the police and force to do so, initially wanting to use the building for other purposes, and, later on, claiming that it was unsafe.
On 8th January, 2019 a wall was built to block the door into the building, and the police have violently attacked people who have protested against that since then. The people in charge of the community centre have stated that at least one hundred people have been wounded in the recent demonstrations, journalists included, and they have accused the authorities of "militarising" Iruñea old town. In fact, shopkeepers have also complained, having been unable to open their establishments on many days, which has led to them losing thousands of Euros. They have stated that they will take the Navarrese authorities to court over the matter.
There has been no end to the protests, and many events have been held in favour of the demonstrators. For instance, last week several people filled metal drums with concrete and stopped the traffic in the city centre for a long time, while others hung off a bridge and blocked a road in that way. Seven people have been arrested in connection with these events.
On Saturday, 19th January, thousands of people gathered outside Iruñea's Maravillas community centre and, after the demonstration, some people used an angle grinder to reopen the door, chanting “Take it over, take it over!” as in the video:
However, the police took the building once more on the following morning. Many people on the social networks have complained that the Government of Navarre has "stepped over all the red lines".
Informazio askea lantzen dugu ARGIAn, langileok gara proiektuaren jabeak eta gure informazioen atzean ez duzu sekula multinazionalik, bankurik edo alderdi politikorik topatuko. Gure ustez, burujabetza guztien oinarrian dago informazio burujabetza, ezagutzen dugunaren gainean pentsatzen eta erabakitzen dugu. Horregatik diogu kazetaritza independentea dela demokraziaren oinarrietako bat.
Aldizkaria paperean etxean edo e-postan PDFan jaso nahi duzu? Pozik hartuko zaitugu ARGIAko komunitatean. ARGIAkoa izateko, nahi eta ahal duzun ekarpena egin dezakezu, eta bueltan egoki ikusten duzuna eskatu. Indartu dezagun indartzen gaituena!
On Saturday around 85,000 people took part in the demonstrations in Bilbao (Bizkaia, Basque Country) and Baiona (Lapurdi, Basque Country). In defence of Basque prisoners' rights, they demanded the French and Spanish governments keep their word.
The workers at Huerta de Peralta in Azkoien, Navarre, are on indefinite strike since the 26th December in order to defend their rights and demand that the company reinstate the four workers it has sacked. They held a multitudinous demonstration in Iruñea on 7th January, and many citizens supported the workers.
This Basque Autonomous Community association has asked the authorities not to fumigate pine trees affected by harmful fungi using copper oxide because that would be harmful to public health and the environment.
ARGIA is the senior Basque publication, and it now has its 100th anniversary. Members of ARGIA, along with representatives from the Basque Government, have presented the acts which will be held to celebrate the anniversary. "A century is no ordinary anniversary, and our team has been preparing appropriate celebrations for a long time now", they explained.
The workers have decided to go on strike until they get acceptable working conditions and regular contracts, and a sector-wide agreement is reached.
Klika (‘Click’) is the slogan which has been chosen for this year's Korrika ('Run'), which is the 21st time it will be held. From April 4th to 14th it will go all around the Basque Country, starting at Gares and finishing at Gasteiz. The pro-Basque language run will pay tribute to Jose Luis "Txillardegi" Alvarez Enparantza for his contribution to Basque culture, activism and thought.
The event will take place on May 5th, and the intention is to show solidarity which is often hidden from view. A symbolic gesture will be used to that end: the embrace.
The Strasbourg Human Rights Court has punished Spain for not giving Arnaldo Otegi a fair trial. As a result of the unfair trial the Basque Left leader spent six and a half years in a Spanish prison, as did a further four people on trial in the Bateragune (´Place for Coming Together') case.
The trial on the murder of Iñigo Cabacas has started in Bilbao, atthe third Court of Bizkaia. Six Basque policemen will be judged for being in charge of giving orders or for having admitted firing rubber bullets on the day of the murder. Other Basque policemen also shot rubber bullerts, but their identity has just to be disclosed at the trial.
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.