July 23, 2024 | 10:19


Ertzaintza unions denounce hate messages in the Aste Nagusia festival grounds

Jesus Carames

August 22, 2023 | 7:30 a.m.

The ErNE and SVPE unions denounce the appearance of banners with hateful messages against the police forces at the Aste Nagusia festival site in Bilbao. Unions have lamented that some people cannot enjoy the festivities without harassing the security forces.

Hate message on banners

The Ertzaintza unions have identified hateful messages on the banners placed in the festive area of ​​Aste Nagusia. These messages incite citizens to interpose themselves before police actions. The ErNE and SVPE unions have issued a joint statement in which they express their discomfort and condemnation of these messages.

Clear positioning request

The police unions have asked the institutional authorities, especially the mayor of Bilbao, Juan Mari Aburto, a clear and forceful position against these hate messages. They have urged the City Council to denounce these events and open investigations to clarify this hate crime against the Euskadi police forces.

Increase in arrests

In another vein, arrests during the Aste Nagusia in Bilbao have increased by almost 45% compared to last year. This has been reported by Amaia Arregi, Security Councilor for the Biscayan capital. During the first two nights of the festivities, 34 arrests were recorded, 20 on the night from Saturday to Sunday and 14 on the night from Sunday to Monday.

According to Arregi, of the last 14 arrests, three were for touching women, events that must continue to be reported. This year's arrests have been an increase compared to the complaints filed last year and also compared to 2019, before the pandemic. Police effectiveness is being perceived and we believe it is positive, Arregi stressed.

Call to unite against aggression

Amaia Arregi has called for "everyone to row in the same direction" to fight against sexual assault. She has stressed that an effort is being made in that direction and that the focus of the protocol has been expanded to hate, racist or LGTBIphobia crimes.


The Ertzaintza unions have denounced the appearance of hateful messages on banners at the Aste Nagusia festival site in Bilbao. These messages incite citizens to interpose themselves before police actions. The unions have asked the authorities for a clear position against these messages.

On the other hand, arrests during Aste Nagusia have increased compared to last year. Amaia Arregi, Councilor for Security, has highlighted the effectiveness of the police and has called for the union against sexual assaults.

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