Every nation has its shameful realities, not always apparent, and Basques are no exception.
Every year the Bidasoa river towns of Hondarribia and Irun celebrate their fiestas around the main act of a copycat military parade that is representation of battles held long ago, when the local militias played a key role in defending the fortified places. These are known as "alarde", Spanish word that means posse or bravado but that originally meant military review.
They used to be male-only activities with a unique token decorative role for women, as "cantineras" (one per company), sort of fangirl and maid (and who-knows-what) for the military unit. Eventually what had to happen happened and "mixed" companies (with female "soldiers") demanded their place. Unlike in other cases of gender discrimination, where this change has been adopted quite naturally, in the Bidasoan towns the reaction was extreme, up to the point that Xabier Muguruza wrote a song calling them fundamentalists. Most local politicians sided with the reactionary majority even up to the point of challenging their own parties and bordering challenging the law at times. However tribunals forced them to accept that mixed companies had to be allowed in the official parade.
This was confronted by the fundamentalists by boycotting the official parade and making their own. So at the moment the only company taking part in the official parade of each town is the mixed company. Being followed soon after by the unofficial parallel parade.
To make things worse and increase the sociological violence against the mixed companies, the fundamentalists have systematically organized year after year a display of black plastics and black umbrellas with slogans like "we did not came to watch you".
However gradually their numbers have been dwindling. This year the presence of supporters of the mixed company at Hondarribia (Irun is yet to have its fiestas) has been very notable, for the first time maybe competing with the fundamentalist display.
The photo above is a quite clear example: there are still black umbrellas but what is more apparent is the lot of people cheering the brave company Jaizkibel, which is patiently winning this most important battle of today.