Sunday, September 1, 2013

Basque Country: Altsasu occupied by military police in fiestas

Spanish military police (Guardia Civil) occupied on Friday the town of Altsasu (Sakana valley, Navarre) in the middle of its fiestas after fascist-like rampage by the Spanish-imposed provincial governor Carmen Alba. 

In 2011 the same fascist proconsul attempted to indict Mayor Garazi Urrestarazu on a festive parody of a royal discourse, now she charges again against the Ospa Eguna, which may be translated as Celebration Day (ospatu = celebrate) or as Go Away Day (ospa! = go away!, coll.) but hardly as Runaway Day, as the ignorant Alba said. 

Whatever the case she has unilaterally declared illegal the festive acts on the absolutely arbitrary grounds that such acts "have not been communicated to the state administration", as if we'd have to tell the occupants about every single local activity we organize in our towns and villages. The acts include a demonstration and the burning of a doll.

The military cops literally surrounded the town with controls and even entered the festive area threatening in Spanish to "clean it up of shit" (what "shit"? are you going to shoot yourselves dead?) 

In spite of all that the activities continued as intended, no matter that a helicopter roared threateningly above the fire of the doll. People showed a lot of bravery dancing and playing among the threatening police occupants.

Witnesses declared:
It was brutal, disproportionate! 

We suffered an incredible police deployment: the people were surrounded by automatic guns. 

For example, when some 200 people took part in the bertso* dinner, they were surrounded by almost the same number of armed cops. Forced identifications and verbal intimidation were common in the day. Town Hall representatives explained that:

It was to drive you crazy. We did not enter into the provocation and in a bertsolari* town as we live in, citizens went on improvising, and also sortzikoak, polkas, Basque dances and games they performed to impress the military policemen, as saying: "here we are and we will stay here". 

Repression no! Go away. Leave Altsasu in peace.

I must say that nothing of all this was in TV news yesterday, neither in the Spanish channels (of course) nor in the Basque ones.

Sources[eu]: Gara, Naiz Info.

* Bertsoak are a form of improvised song, usually in humorous duels, traditional among Basques. The singers are known as bertsolari(-ak).

Update (Sep 2): it has been known now that a young man was arrested, apparently for "answering back" to the verbal aggressions by the police forces →


  1. Self-management societies vs anarcho-capitalism: the new global war of ideologies?

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