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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gora San Fermin!

Today officially begin the most famous fiestas worldwide: the San Ferminak of Pamplona.

Panoramic view of the City Hall Plaza at the txupin

Of course, the tensions between the official Navarre and the other Navarre have been present all the time.

For instance, it was the turn for the txupin to be launched by a member the Basque Nationalist Left municipal group and that has caused that for the first time it has been launched instead by the members of the Giants and Big-Heads konpartsa instead of a councilor. Furthermore the councilors of this group were forbidden to access the balcony on the grounds that their t-shirts had Basque flags on them.

However the Basque banner was visible in the plaza anyhow:

Another conflict is the censorship imposed on some peñak (popular groups that co-organize the fiestas and give it the real feeling) because their banners, traditionally critical and humorous depictions of the social and political reality, included references to Basque prisoners.

For that reason all peñak have agreed that this year their banners will be black, representing censorship.

Again, regardless the municipal government, solidarity with the prisoners has been present in form of the traditional salutation, this year by the hand Asier Aranguren, a recently liberated local prisoner:

Yet another conflict has been with the platform for participative fiestas Gora Iruñea! The city government has repeatedly denied them permission to install scenarios and such, so this year they have asked for the very minimums, bringing the rest of activities to the street (1200 hours of street music, activities for children, 14 rock concerts, dances...). Still the right-wing Mayor and camarilla have rejected to concede any permission, forbidding even a popular dinner. The association will therefore be forced to relocate these activities in less adequate spaces but the clowns Pirritx eta Mari Motots need an scenario for their actuation so they may have to cancel this activity. However they have promised to act for the children of Pamplona in some other occasion.

Another prohibition is vuvuzelas.

Source: Gara (link 1, link 2, photo gallery).

And, by the way, who was San Fermin? Nobody seems to know nor care... ask the Pope. What the people really wants is a pretext for wild, almost endless party.


Update (Jul 8): La Haine reports of one person arrested and two more brutally beaten by local police for carrying the Basque flag to the txupin (inaugural ceremony repeated daily). It's perfectly legal and nobody would mind if it'd be the banner of Australia or Andalusia but the Basque ensign is apparently forbidden de facto by the fascist government of the city.

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