Tuesday, August 9

La Txantrea, the neighborhood that sabotages the blue zone with brushes and paint

Barrio de la Txantrea.

Barrio de la Txantrea.

A blue zone is only one blue zone when the stripes are painted blue. For several weeks, in Txantrea, a working-class neighborhood of Pamplona, ​​the lines have gone dark for many days freshly painted of that color by the town hall of the Navarran capital and they have dawned from White, above all, but also of other components of the chromatic scale. The residents are at war against the decision of the town hall of the Navarrese capital to turn the streets into places where to Park you have to pay, and along with classic forms of protest (demonstrations, collecting signatures, banners …) they have also used more iconoclastic, graphic and immediate impact methods. Brushes and paint. “My street has appeared painted in many colors,” he says. Koldobi Buy, spokesperson for Tx Neighborhood Initiative, a neighborhood platform created specifically to try stop the blue zone in the neighborhood.

Osta, a metal worker, insists that her association is not behind of the graffiti. “It was not our initiative,” he points out. It has been something completely popular, spontaneous. The neighborhood expresses its protest as it occurs to them ”.

Only in recent days, the occurrences of the neighbors, who from now on will have to pay close to 50 euros a year to obtain the resident card and to be able to park near their house, they have gone to more. Or at least, the occurrences of a minority part of the inhabitants of Txantrea, an area of ​​low houses, with a long tradition of street fighting, in many cases associated with the aberzale left, to which the band Barricade dedicated in 1984 his song ‘Troubled neighborhood ‘.

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It is no longer just staying late at night to return the parking lines to their original color, so that later the City Council repaints them, in a kind of vicious circle. Coinciding with the beginning of the parking fee, the protest is now also reflected in sealed parking meters with silicone, in insults and sporadic attacks to those in charge of controlling the blue zone. On Wednesday of last week, in the middle of the afternoon, one of them received a perdigonazo on one side.

The “uncontrolled”

“I don’t know where we are going to go if this escalation continues,” he says. Javier Labairu, Councilor for Citizen Security of the Pamplona City Council, governed by Navarra Sum, a coalition formed by the Unión del Pueblo Navarro, the PP and Ciudadanos. Labairu, who will meet with the neighborhood platform this Thursday to try to calm things down, says he is missing a explicit condemnation of these violent episodes, which already represent “more than a simple problem of public order.” Osta, however, is very clear when it comes to expressing her rejection. “Was a uncontrolled neighbor. We do not promote it. Nothing is further from our intentions than attacking someone who is a worker, as we are ”, explains the activist.

But beyond this coincidence, Points in common between the neighborhood platform and the town hall are scarce. Osta points out that there have never been problems with parking in Txantrea, and that therefore the blue zone “does not make sense” in the neighborhood. He claims that in a week they collected 4,389 signatures against him. And he stresses that at the end of August, the Navarrese Ombudsman, issued a report in which he agreed with his platform, defending that a consultation be held on regulated parking, which is what the neighbors demand.

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Labairu, on the other hand, assures that the reports of the city council indicate that in Txantrea the percentage of occupation of street parking is around 85%. That the firms were only “about 800 or 900”, because the rest came from outside the neighborhood or were minors. And that the Ombudsman limited himself to “suggest” a participatory process. “The report recognized that this is an exclusive competence of the city council, and at the same time it only suggested a query,” says the councilor. I go to the dictionary to find what ‘suggest’ means and it is only hint lightly do one thing. He did not urge us to do anything ”.

Gamonal’s precedent

With many nuances, this conflict is partly reminiscent of what happened in 2014 in Gamonal, a working-class district in Burgos. The city council’s decision to build a boulevard and an underground car park led to violent riots for several days: bank branches vandalized, burned containers, Broken bus canopy glass. The consistory was forced to back down.

But here, no matter how this fight ends, Osta and Labairu agree again. Something like this will not happen in Txantrea. “Is not the same. I do not see no possible slope that could lead to riots, ”says the activist. “The violent are four madmen –Said the councilor-. The neighborhood will be for or against the blue zone, there will be everything, but it does not support violence ”.


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