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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bilbao Fiestas on strike

Today at 10 am, the official inauguration of the festive journey, the kompartsak (popular festive teams which are the heart of the fiestas since 1978) went on strike for the whole journey. If you happen to visit today the festive area you will find nearly everything closed.

Additionally this year, all the stands are decorated on black background as sign of protest, a pretty unusual sight.

Why? Because the Town Hall decided to ban three kompartsak (Kaskagorri, Txori Barrote and Komantxe) because they included photos of Basque prisoners in their stands. Such photos have been part of the Basque landscape since I have memory but, as of late, the undemocratic imposed government of Patxi López, has been working to get them out of the streets and taverns on the pretext that they are offensive for "the victims of terrorism".

There is no clear legal frame for such an actuation but, of course, judges are siding with the Spaniards and their local lackeys in this matter as well.

As the photos have been anyhow present in the fiestas, with them hanged from every tree and lamp, yesterday Spanish Neoinquisition judge Velasco ordered for second time their removal and now also investigation on who may be placing them (what a silly question: everybody!, these doctors seem to ignore the best of Spanish literature).

But they also seem to ignore history: the Basque flag was illegal until a campaign of flag-bombs forced its recognition. Such a scenario may happen again indeed with the photos of prisoners or whatever other expression that is formally banned by some distant judge in his crystal palace of Madrid. It happened again indeed with the prohibition of banners of Basque Nationalist content, causing some policemen to be injured in Navarre a few years ago.

Whatever the case, these are the strangest fiestas I have ever witnessed.

Judge Velasko has also ordered police to intervene against the homage to repressed members of Kaskagorri konpartsa (Nationalist Left youth) and even a toast (brindis) to women prisoners in Barcelona, which in his opinion is an act of welcome of recently freed anarchist prisoner Laura Riera, as well as homage to other two Catalan political prisoners: Dolores López Resina and Marina Bernadó.

Image of the police aggression yesterday on orders of the Spanish Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional).
More photos at Boltxe.

Video: police repression in Barcelona (text and most dialogue in Catalan)
People chant: you fascists are the terrorists, Audiencia Nacional dissolution and Laura Riera welcome home

The konpartsak however made exception to their strike for the visit to children in hospital, being present there with all the festive paraphernalia: Mari Jaia, pregonero, txupinera, circus clowns and even the mayor, who avoided any declarations.

Source: Gara[es] (link 1, link 2)

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