Two members of UGT attacked inside the union offices
On Thursday, December 14, there was a rally against fascist aggressions outside the offices of the F. Engels Foundation and the Students Union in Vitoria-Gasteiz (in the Basque Country), which have been the object of fascist attacks six times in the last few weeks.
The most serious attack was on December 12 inside the UGT (General Workers Union) headquarters, opposite the attacked offices. Two people were flyposting posters for the rally in the same street, at about 10 am, when a black 4 wheel drive vehicle with tainted windows parked next to the UGT headquarters. A fascist came out of the vehicle and alerted the security guard of the union, ran towards the comrades, tore down the posters and followed the comrades inside the UGT offices.
The security guard at the UGT, whose picture features in the posters calling for the rally, managed to prevent the two comrades, members of the union, from entering the union offices until the fascist was close enough and hit the first of the UGT members. He then entered the union offices and went to the Metal Workers' Federation office where he continued attacking the comrades, with the help of the security guard, working for Vinsa, Jose Viñas Alvarez, who has now been removed from his position.
The most unbelievable thing is that the union officers expelled the two union members who had just been attacked from the union headquarters. They went to the nearest first aid post and to the Ertzantza (Basque Autonomous Police) where they filed a case. Both comrades are supporters of El Militante, and each has been a member of UGT for 30 years. Further to these attacks the Neighbourhood Association in Coronacion also suffered an attack in which the bullet proof window pane where they had stuck a poster for the rally was broken.
Two hundred people from 25 different organisations attended the rally on the 14th, which we think is a success, being the first united mobilisation against fascist attacks that has been organised for a long time. All those who signed the poster calling for the rally (trade unions, left wing youth organisations, etc.) were present, together with representatives from neighbourhood associations, student and youth organisations which are also suffering from these attacks. It is significant to note the presence of a number of members and shop stewards from the UGT, who joined the rally despite the pressure of the local leadership of the union.
At the beginning of the rally the latest attacks were denounced, including one in Koldo Mitxelena, the high school where spray painted swastikas appeared, proving the existence of a well organised neo-Nazi cell in Vitoria.
The Basque Autonomous Police, Ertzantza, which brought anti-riot officers to the demonstration, allowed the fascist who had attacked the UGT members the day before, to park his black tainted window 4 wheel drive just 15 meters away from the rally, which was a clear provocation.
The organisers explained that in order to fight fascism what was needed were collective actions, strengthening the anti-fascist platform, creating workers' self-defence committees and preparing a massive demonstration in January with the participation of workers and youth.
When the organisers approached the Ertzantza and asked them to identify and arrest the aggressor, they turned against the organisers saying that if something happened to the fascist, this would be their responsibility. We could clearly see the connivance of the Basque Nationalist Party police with these fascists, with whom they were talking in a friendly way shortly afterwards.
Some of the slogans of the rally were "Nazis out, Fascists out", "You, fascists, are the terrorists", "the rich point out, the Nazis attack", "Unity against fascism", "fascism advances if we do not fight back", "langile erakundeen defentsan" ("defend workers' organisations") and "hemen gaude langileen alde" ("here we are, we are the workers"). The statement of the anti-fascist platform was read in Spanish and Euskera, and it was explained how as a result of the movement the security guard had been removed from the UGT, and an appeal was made for the unity of all organisations present. The rally also denounced the attitude of the Home Affairs Councillor of the Basque Government, and demanded action in disbanding the fascist gangs.
- Stop Fascist Aggression in Vitoria (Gasteiz) in the Basque Country! (December 14, 2006)