Basque police entered and evicted the Kukutza youth club in Rekalde, Bilbao, at dawn on Wednesday morning, while hundreds of local residents continued to hold protests inside and around the building.
A Bilbao court has ordered the deferral of a notice issued by the local council to demolish the Kukutza Gaztetxe so as to consider a plea brought by the Rekalde Residents Association that the order to pull the building down be repealed.
Basque anti-riot police were on scene in the Bilbao suburb of Rekalde at approximately 5.30am on Wednesday morning where they set about dispersing protesters, some of whom were asleep inside the building, by firing rubber bullets. According to witness accounts, a number of people were injured as a result.
Police carried out four arrests and took down the names of more than thirty protesters during the eviction.
According to the Basque Home Office, those inside the building reacted to the eviction by throwing stones and other objects at police officers, and blocked their way by lining public walkways with dustbins, which resulted in officers having to open fire.
One member of the gaztetxe, speaking live on Euskadi Irratia, that he and some fifty people were camped inside when Basque police began “destroying” the building in order to get them out.
Those responsible for managing the Gaztetxe confirmed their intention to resist the eviction, holding “the owners of the building, the local council of Bilbao and the Basque Home Office” accountable and insisting on their wish to reach a solution via negotiation.