Tuesday, May 17

Several detainees, destruction and firecrackers in a picket at the University of Vitoria

Fifty hooded people “dressed in black”, according to eyewitnesses, broke into the faculties of Pharmacy and Letters and the Las Nieves lecture hall on the UPV/EHU campus in Vitoria early this Thursday morning. It was a picket motivated by a student strike called, among others, by the Ikasle Abertzaleak organization. The provisional balance shows several detainees and significant material damage. It is estimated that 25 have been identified.

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The riots have started in the Faculty of Pharmacy, which has been left with graffiti and several damaged furniture elements. More affection has had the Faculty of Letters. After passing the picket line the smell of gunpowder was very strong and the cartridges were scattered on the ground. Large metal benches had been thrown to the ground. Both campuses have been completely closed to academic activity and the cleaning staff has been forced to carry out an emergency action.

Later, the hooded men went to the Las Nieves lecture hall on the same campus. People present at the scene describe hearing blows and explosions. The fire alarm has gone off and this has forced the evacuation of the entire building that also houses the library and study rooms.

The Ertzaintza has had to mobilize a strong security device. Half a dozen vans and squad cars have arrived on campus. Three units of the Mobile Brigade (anti-riot) that had been deployed for security around the Basque Parliament have had to abandon their positions. They were there because at the end of the student demonstration it had that fate. At 10:00 in the morning the detainees were being identified by the Police, without there being any official data yet.

A couple of students who were in Las Nieves have explained to this newspaper that they have heard a lot of noise and that they have found themselves in front of the picket line after setting off the alarm. “The same as they ask for rights, we also have rights”, they have complained. Two other women left Letras restless after firecrackers were thrown at them.

At 10:45 a.m., a riot squad entered Las Nieves to evict a group that had apparently barricaded themselves inside. Outside, the police have cordoned off the street.