Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

Two young men judge Wednesday by the occupation of Zestoa gaztetxe

  • The Elizondo building in Zestoa was occupied by the Gazte Asanblada as a new gaztetxe. The building is owned by the Church and the bishopric is running a procedure against the Gaztetxe. Protests have been imposed in recent weeks, such as Sunday in the church of Zestoa. Zestoa City Council expresses its readiness to sign an agreement “for the common good”.
Iragan ostiralean Donostian egindako elkarretaratzea, Gaztetxearen desalojoaren aurka. // Argazkia: Gedar

24 January 2024 - 11:01
Last updated: 2024-01-25 09:09:41

The trial against Zestoa’s gaztetxe took place in Azpeitia on Wednesday. The Church began proceedings against the Gaztetxe last year, as the members of the Gazte Asanblada occupied the Church-owned building to use it as a new gaztetxe. Two members will be judged on the case and, as the Assembly has pointed out, the Church claims compensation and “gross fines” for them, as Gedar said. Protest at the Azpeitia Court from 09:00 hours convened by the Workers Spaces Defense Community and the Assembly of Zestoa.

In recent weeks there have been many demonstrations in solidarity with young people in the Basque Country. Last Sunday he concentrated within the church of Zestoa to “demand the Church to suspend the eviction of the Gaztetxe.” They also protested on Friday at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd of San Sebastian. In this regard, the Diocese of San Sebastian has stated in a note that it does not intend to “modify its opinion” in relation to the “violent occupation” of the Elizondo building and that it will keep the complaint in force to “recover the activity of the building as soon as possible”.

A heartbreaking process

In February 2023, the Zestoa Youth Assembly opened the new gaztetxe with the Elizondo building. Members report that they have been “many years” to gain new space in negotiations with the City Hall and the Church, but never reached an agreement. Therefore, they occupied the Elizondo building, the property of the Church.

In April, one of its members had his first trial in Azpeitia. He was acquitted by the judge, but the Church announced that it would continue to fight for the eviction of the building.

Zestoa city council in favour of an agreement

The issue has given much to talk about in Zestoa and the city council has opened a press release on Tuesday. Regarding the mobilizations carried out, he points out that “you cannot” have interrupted the Mass at the weekend: “Like any other association or community, the Christian community of the people has the full right to carry out its activities of belief and what happened on Sunday completely violated the right of citizens to religious freedom.”

The City Hall calls on the Church to place its heritage “at the service of the people”: “We condemn the ecclesiastical hierarchy throughout history and in recent decades the appropriation of public infrastructures that require a public heritage. As in other peoples, the church has built up an important material heritage on its behalf and today is the day when the church lacks the human and material capacity to properly manage and maintain this heritage.”

He is willing to “sign a general agreement with the Church for the benefit of all.” It highlights that the Elizondo building is “a propitious space” for the youth movements of the municipality: “Zestoa City Hall is ready to continue striving to recover the space, but for this it will be necessary the collaboration of all, prioritizing the vision of the people”.

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