1st of July, 2010
Last night four people locked themselves inside the shafts of the old Itsasondo mines in the Basque Country (on the Spanish side of the border) in order to "stop the construction of the High-Speed Railway (HSR)” and to denounce the "social model of which these construction sites are just the outer mask". They are demanding the "immediate cessation" of the tunnelling work taking place in that same area.
"We know that the risks are high. We've gone deep down underground in order to strengthen with our bodies this very earth. We are locked inside the mines so as to defend our ideas and denounce the lack of sense of those who hold power. Our bodies are our weapons and direct action is our path".
This is what the four people who have locked themselves inside the mines of Itsasondo had to say about their act of "resistance" to the HSR. The statement was communicated to the press by fellow opponents of the mega infrastructure in a press conference in which they also warned of the dangers of the Ordizia-Itsasondo tunnel.
They reported that of the 37 surveys and test drillings that were meant to be done before the construction project, only one actually took place.
From inside the mines, the activists who have locked themselves in explained that the construction work is taking place in Mariaratz, Olaberria, San Martin, Berostegi and Itsasondo. "Near here, in the Mariaratz construction site, there are daily explosions... explosions which destroy the earth and everything on top of it. It's highly possible that the mines will collapse if the explosions and drillings continue, threatening the lives of these four people. Therefore, we demand the immediate stop of the works taking place".
The protesters have called on people to participate in the meetings that will take place every day at 19.30 in Itsasondo and in the demonstrations called for this Friday in various places and also in the protest march which will take place on Sunday, departing at 17.00 from the square of the town of Ordizia.
Anyone able to spread information and to express solidarity with this protest action in other parts of the world is asked to do so as soon as possible! The action of these four comrades must not remain isolated!
(Brief update: the construction company, the Basque Railway Service and the police have all refused to stop the explosions of the tunnel excavations, thereby endangering the lives of the four activists who are currently underground)