May 23th 2024 | 3:23

Bilbao

Drastic reduction in participation in the Ertzainas demonstration in Lucha

More than a thousand ertzainas demand a dignified agreement with thunderous protest

Jesus Carames

April 15, 2024 | 8:25 p.m.

This Thursday, the capital of Biscay was the scene of a significantly less crowded demonstration than usual, organized by the Ertzainas en Lucha platform together with the Euspel union. According to data provided by the local Bilbao City Police, the number of attendees has fallen drastically to around 300 ertzainas, far below the previous mobilizations that the platform has carried out.

History of the mobilizations

Today's protest follows a series of demonstrations started in May 2023, which initially attracted 4,000 participants. This number reflected strong discontent within the body toward the lack of an updated agreement, which has not been renewed in more than a decade. However, despite high initial participation and gathering more than 3,000 people in October and 3,400 in March of this year, attendance has seen a notable decline.

Contrast in attendance figures

While local authorities have recorded only 300 attendees, organizers claim the number is considerably higher, indicating that "many more" have joined the cause. This discrepancy highlights the persistent determination of the group, which continues to fight for salary equality with the best-paid local police officers in Euskadi and for decent working conditions.

Route and objectives of the demonstration

Starting from the EiTB headquarters at 17 p.m., the protesters toured the main streets of Bilbao, culminating in Jardines de Albia. The focus of this and other previous demonstrations has been on demanding not only salary improvements but also a general review of working conditions to "provide the service that this society deserves."

Reactions and future of the mobilizations

Despite the low participation reported by the authorities, Ertzainas en Lucha celebrates the unity and continued commitment of the body to improve their work situation. The divergence between the participation figures reported by the City Council and the organizers highlights the possible tension and skepticism about the true magnitude of discontent within the Ertzaintza.

The future of these mobilizations and their impact on the employment and administrative policies of the Basque Police will continue to be of public and political interest, especially if the discrepancy in perceptions of participation persists.

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