On July 10, to coincide with the start of the trial of the neo-nazi Óscar Colino Damián, the Gasteiz Antifascist Platform organised a demonstration at 11am in front of the court. The demonstration which attracted more than 40 workers and young people was organised by the Gasteiz Antifascist Platform with the participation of various trade unions: ELA, CCOO, ESK, LAB, CGT, CNT, HIRU, STEE together with other associations, left parties, student unions and left and progressive collectives such as Askapena, SOS Racismo, AAVV Gasteiz Txiki, Halabedi Irratia, Ikasle Abertzaleak, Euskal Herria Sozialista, Boltxe, EPK-Partido Comunista de Euskadi, Fundación Federico Engels, El Militante, Manos Fuera de Venezuela, Sindicato de Estudiantes, Arabako Emakumeen Asanblada, Salhaketa Araba, Emakume Langilearen Defentsan.
He declares himself a National Socialist at the trial and shows off his SS tattoo
A few minutes after the start of the demonstration two women, one young and the other very elderly, stood at the front taking photos of those present in a very provocative manner: they were the mother and girlfriend of the neo-nazi Óscar Colino, who quickly began to make his presence known by repeatedly saluting with his outstretched arm Hitler style together with another neo-nazi, both dressed in black, showing off the SS tattoos on his arm. These provocations passed unnoticed by the Ertzanza (the Basque police force) and the secret police, who were there to watch over the antifascist demonstration. Why did the Ertzantza not seize the film from the women? What do the Ertzantza suppose that neo-nazis on trial for death threats were going to do with the photos that they had taken?
Óscar Colino openly acknowledged before the judge that he was a Neo-nazi and a member of the National Alliance. Neither did he show any hesitation in arguing that if he wanted to attack us no one would be able to stop it. In spite of this the remarks and the interruptions of the judge, primarily towards the aggrieved party, didn't permit anyone to harbour any hope that bourgeois justice will make this individual pay for the threats he made at the branch of the Fundación Federico Engels. The connivance of the judge and the bourgeois police with these groups is shameless but demonstrates that the we, the working class and the youth, must have confidence only and exclusively in our own forces and our capacity to organise and struggle.
The campaign in the factories and the working class neighbourhoods
The campaign against this aggression has been carried out as a public denunciation with leaflets and thousands of posters in factories such as Mercedes, Michelin, Esmaltaciones and others. Only the united and combined collective response of the working class can fight the action of the fascist bands that grow when nothing is done in response to their attacks or when the problem is minimized instead of dealing with it as a serious threat against the workers' movement and its organisations.
The strutting entrance of the Neo-nazis at the courts contrasts with the end of the trial when in the aisles dozens of workers and youth sang "venceremos, venceremos al fascismo sabremos vencer..." ("We will win, we will beat fascism, w eknow how to win") together with a flood of antifascist slogans like "vosotros fascistas sois los terroristas" and "Gasteiz será la tumba del fascismo", "You fascists are the terrorists" and "Gasteiz will be the tomb of fascism".
It is incomprehensible that while the workers' movement and the Left of Gasteiz have worked together in solidarity and have participated in this campaign of denunciation, the UGT of which the Neo-nazi Óscar Colino Damián was a member, has kept him on their membership lists and has refused to participate in the united action. At a ceremony on the eve of the trial to award diplomas to the members of the UGT recognising more than 30 years of membership, the General Secretary of the UGT in the Basque Country, Dámaso Casaco, claimed that there was nothing ambiguous about a fascist being a member of the UGT. At the end of his speech Damaso Casado received a note signed by 20 from a total of 60 of those who had been honoured, calling on the leadership of the UGT to go to the trial to defend those members of the Fundación Federico Engels who had been threatened, and were there to receive their diplomas. Dámaso not only ignored them but declined to participate in the Gasteiz Antifascist Platform, affirming instead that he would do nothing to expel the known Neo-nazi from the union.
Moreover, the attitude of Óscar Colino Damián's father, a member of the PSOE and a councillor for them until the last elections in Agurain-Salvatierra, was absolutely not one of a father ashamed to have two Neo-nazi sons nor of an authentic socialist, who from the start should have sympathised with and supported the left forces and collaborated with them as much as possible to dismantle the Neo-nazi cell to which his son belongs. This ill-named socialist, a genuine squirrel that hid behind his PSOE card, not only gave no support to the victims but was permitted to directly and personally threaten the representative of the Fundación Federico Engels in the Basque Country and a member of the International Marxist Tendency-El Militante for defending himself against the threats of his son and his neo-nazi gang at the trial.
The Vice-counsel of the Interior of the Basque Government from the PNV-EA (Basque Nationalists) who had received timely information about the threats and a plea for protection from the threatened branch took no action about it. Although the police under his control didn't seize the film taken by the mother and girlfriend of the neo-nazi, they took advantage of the presence of 40 youth and workers in the court to request identity cards and took some names, in spite of the fact that unlike the fascists we had an absolutely correct behaviour throughout the event.
One thing needs to be made clear: in Gasteiz we are not going to allow a single fascist aggression to go by without replying with a mobilisation of the whole of the working class and the youth on a class basis.