Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bilbao social center at risk of eviction

Since the quite fascist mayor of Bilbao, Iñaki Azkuna, was reelected (again?!) the risk of eviction of the self-managed gaztetxe (social center) of Errekalde district, Kukutza, has been growing.

The huge industrial building was occupied 13 years ago after two failed attempts in other less impressive locations of the popular neighborhood. That's why it is sometimes named Kukutza III. Since its beginnings it has been used for lots of different cultural and social activities... but better let them show you:

Since the 1980s, like mushrooms on fertile ground, gaztetxeak (literally youth houses but best translated as social centers possibly) have been born, and occasionally killed too, all through the Basque Country. A quick search names some locations: Iruñea-Pamplona, Dima, Zorrotza (Bilbao), Altsasu, Orio, Donibane-Garazi, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Alde Zarra (Bilbao), Santutxu (Bilbao), Leioa, Getaria, Deustu, Andoain, Ortuella, Zarautz, Barakaldo, Portugalete, Donibane-Lohitzune... There are more (a hundred according to Wikipedia).

They are born from the will of the people, recycling abandoned buildings into multi-use social centers, which typically become a vortex for neighborhoods or even whole towns, self-managed by assemblies of the people who use them. 

The huge dimensions of Kukutza allow for a lot, including a popular vegetarian restaurant, concert hall, all kind of artistic workshops, gym and climbing resort and a long etcetera. Now the bourgeois class wants to deprive the people of it, appealing to a law made by themselves for themselves. 

Justice is not in the court room but in the streets.

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