Thursday, May 30, 2013

Basque General Strike report

Dawn picket under the rain
 May 30th. General Strike in the Basque Country.

The strike began at midnight with pickets forcing the closure of Opencor, a chain of convenience stores that open 24 hrs/day 365 days/year, owned by the infamous Spanish mafioso corporation El Corte Inglés, which does not allow free unionization, let alone striking. A picket of some 60 people managed to have it closed in spite of violent police intervention.

Picket activity continued before dawn, with all industrial areas almost completely closed down. Police intervened in several cases. 

Closed and decorated bank (Pamplona)
At least nine people (Berria says 13) have already been arrested by Spanish police in Pamplona, some of them are accused of having material to sabotage buses. Arbitrary arrests also happened in Greater Bilbao in at least two cases with ad hoc accusations like "lack of respect for police agents" or "insults and disobedience". Another person was arrested in San Sebastian accused of "disobedience" and "resistance".

Sabotage to electric feed of subway and trains took place at several locations. The line Bilbao-Balmaseda was unaffected because the company decided to use diesel machines for the occasion, but other lines suffered important delays

A fire in a trailer of Fagor also seems to have been intentional. Several ATM machines have also been attacked.

Empty industrial zones
In most industrial companies a following of the strike close to 100% has been reported. A major exception seems to be Volkswagen Navarre which only lost 35% of production. 

In public services and education the estimate is between 52% and 100%.

Public transport is working at c. 55% levels, above the 30% minimal services established by authorities (meaning almost 80% following, after excluding the forced minimal services). 

The Western Basque Government pretends (totally unreal!) that the following of the strike is under 20%. The Navarrese government is even more cynic, claiming a mere 5% of following.

In Navarre the following is very high. In Bortziria (Five Towns, NW) all industrial activity was nearly stopped (95-100%), in Leitza 100%, in Sakana the following was a bit weaker because there was another general strike in the district just a month ago, but still ample following, in Iruñerria (Pamplona urban district) 50-100%. The Steel Commerce sector, which is in indefinite strike in the Old Kingdom, reported a following of 70-100%, their union delegates are all concentrated in the Agustine Friars' School. The Pamplona bike-picket this time could operate normally (having suffered repression in the last strikes).

March in Txantrea (Pamplona)

Major demonstrations took place in the four provincial capitals. Another person was arrested in Pamplona after the march, while many dozens were identified by Spanish police forces.

Demo in Bilbao
Demo in Pamplona

The more repressed pickets were those exerting their right to free speech near the mafioso macro-corporation El Corte Inglés. In several cities police charged against the pickets, including one in Pamplona which surrounded the building with bloody clothes in protest for the very direct resposibility of this company with the recent Bangladesh worker massacre.

Bilbao: police vs. pickets at El Corte Inglés
Solidarity with Bangladesh at Iruñea-Pamplona
In Iruñea-Pamplona also, there were clashes in the center of the city as police harassed and attacked youth pickets, some of which eventually responded with fire barrickades. Video:

Video of the police violence against El Corte Inglés picket in Bilbao:

Video of some of the youth block actions in Iruñea-Pamplona:

Sources[es/eu]: Naiz Info (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5, link 6 photo-gallery), Ateak Ireki (many micro-blogs, some most important: link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5, link 6, link 7, link 8, link9), Berria (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4,).

See also: Jun 1st update.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Comment moderation before publishing is... ON