Five years since the conflict in Gamonal

2019 is the fitfh anniversary of the neighbors’ protests that during a week forced the attention of all media in the Spanish State towards the working-class district of Gamonal (Burgos). The neighbors fought against the urban renewal project that entailed the renovation of its main street, finally obtaining the suspension of the project, which the residents considered a great victory. In those days, outside the neighborhood, everybody wondered what was happenning in Gamonal, but inside the area it was very clear. It was not only a street, but an innecessary investment in a project that would only benefit the construction firm, while the main problems of the neighborhood were unemployment and lack of parking, something that the project would have worsened. Moreover, it was something that the neighborhood had already gone through.

Gamonal was created by industrialization under Franco’s regime, as a segregated neighborhood built around the industrial district of Gamonal, and as an occasion for real estate speculators who built it with relevant construction problems. The inhabitants developed very early a clear conscience of the problems of the space they inhabited, so during the last years of the dictatorship there were the first protests in defense of the neighborhood and its improvement. As shows the geographer José Ignacio Herreras Espinosa in his work, since the transition to democracy up to now there were constant struggles in Gamonal. It is not only a combative neighborhood, also a neighborhood whose residents are proud of having conquered everything they have through their own struggle.

  • Gamonal: Barrio vivo, barrio combativo, 2014, Ed. Klinamen [PDF] “We don’t want to add exhaltation to some events, but to give voice to the main actors of a conflict, to amplify the echo of their practices, and to contribute to the resound of their experience in future struggles”
  • Luis CASTRO BERROJO, La batalla de Gamonal y otras historias de este barrio, in Academia
  • Reportage in La Sexta columna about the mobilizations of 2014: La ley de la calle: Gamonal, un barrio que lleva medio siglo de lucha, en lucha
  • Short documentary movies made by students of secundary schools: IES Diego Marín Aguilera, Gamonal: el documental, about the struggles of 2014, completely filmed in Gamonal :: IES Pintor Luis Sáez, Barrios abiertos: Gamonal, on the struggles of 2005.
  • José Ignacio HERRERAS ESPINOSA (2015), El barrio de Capiscol (Gamonal, Burgos). Formación y desarrollo socio-urbano, Geography thesis, Burgos [full text in PDF]
  • 2019 is also the fourth anniversary of another important struggle, which also caused the paralization of another planned avenue  which would have cut in  half a whole neighborhood. It is the neighborhood of Cabanyal (Valencia), where the neighbors’ struggles managed to block the construction of Avenida Blasco Ibañez.