Thursday, September 27, 2012

Night report on the Basque General Strike

This mini-report follows the previous one (morning with afternoon updates) and another one that only covered the early morning in Navarre.

Most briefly it can be said as follows: 
  1. Greater than 50% following on average (greatest in Gipuzkoa, small in Southern Navarre)
  2. Massive demonstrations gathering hundreds of thousands in the morning and the evening, in the capital cities and in the smaller ones (which can well be compared as a whole with the 1.5 million of Barcelona the other day for independence because the Basque Country is much smaller than Catalonia - but also the normal thing here in the Euskal Herria, a massive demand for independence and socialism that is systematically ignored or disdained)
  3. Violent police aggressions, specially in Pamplona but also in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bilbao and Atarrabia, resulting in at least five injured (one could lose an eye), important clashes in the case of Pamplona and an unknown number of arrested citizens
Images tell much more than words often:


Iruñea - Pamplona
Two people injured in eyes by rubber bullets (probable loss of eye)
Solidarity demo in Zaragoza (Aragon) tonight
The only cut that will get us out of the crisis: Independence
Bilbao: farmers also stopped today
Donostia (San Sebastian)
Vitoria-Gasteiz: police violence
"Souvenir from Spain" reads in this rubber bullet shot in San Nicolás street, Pamplona (source)

Most of these and many more, as well as many videos, you can find at the Greba dedicated site or their "storify" special page.

  • For the demo of Bilbao specifically, Bilboko Branka has created a Google+ gallery.
  • In Tudela there was clear tension as a picket booed the office of the ruling party in Spain.
  • Various photo galleries on the protests and incidents in Pamplona and elsewhere in Navarre can be accessed via Ateak Ireki[es].
  • A short news claims[es] that the youth arrested yesterday in Iturrama protesting at a bank office will be brought to Madrid for inquisitorial probable torture and mock-trial, accused of both terrorism and attempting to rob a bank.
  • The number of arrested citizens is not fully clear yet but at least 14 were in Navarre (AI[es]).
  • Atarrabia-Burlata march (video)

I have read or heard many people saying that it is not enough with this strike and that a more continuous state of organization, subversion and even uprising must be achieved if we really want to make change happen. For example that's what Axier López wrote[eu] for Argia magazine and reflected in several online media. In some cases that is materializing in form of post-strike assemblies to take place this or the next week.

Spanish media ignored the strike

Also as closing note to mention how the Basque general strike has been almost totally ignored by the Spanish media, demonstrating once again that the Basque Country is NOT Spain but that we even seem to exist in different continents altogether, maybe even in different dimensional planes.

For example the "left-leaning" online newspaper Público, relegated the Basque strike to a small corner at the very bottom of a very large page with just passing mention of 18 arrests, above it not just the Greek strike and the protests and incidents of Madrid but all other kinds of stuff like: purchasing power falls 7% on tax rises, Mercadona (Barcelona distribution market) stops selling products from (Moroccan-occupied) West Sahara, appeal against the "tax amnesty", opinion articles on Gibraltar and the legal status of the Catholic Church, and many other news and opinion articles that, while no doubt interesting, do not have the relevance of a general strike that has, once again almost paralized the Basque Country.

But it is clear that the Basque Country is not Spain, certainly not for the Spanish media. Maybe we can get out of this prison of nations and they will not notice at all? Doubt it.

Mini-update: Maybe it's better that they ignore us after all, otherwise it may happen as with the Financial Times, who opens with the news of "Spanish turmoil" and illustrates it with the image of "Spanish" (sic) MP Sabino Cuadra being beaten by a "Basque" (sic) police agent.

Not sure if they mean that we Basques must be always the "bad guys" but the reality is that Sabino is a Basque MP who was beaten by Spanish National Police.

That is the reality. Somebody tell those guys please!

Otherwise, what can I say: hilarious.

Source: Ateak Ireki[eu/en/es].

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