Whole most other people in San Sebastian were getting ready to throw themselves wholeheartedly into celebrating the city’s annual feria, some 3,000 radical left-wing nationalists, or abertzale, met at 5.30 pm in the city centre to protest the “state of exception” which they claim the central government in Madrid has declared in the Basque Country. To shouts of “independence”, “the only way is the struggle”, they also denounced the “the political lynching” of the recently released ETA terrorist, Iñaki de Juana Chaos, who was condemned to 3,000 years in jail for his part in the deaths of 25 people in the mid-1980s. An abertzakle leader told reporters there were many reasons for demanding a political change such as “the torture and violation of human rights of ETA prisoners”. The protest ended on the dot of 6.30 pm, when the city authorities officially inaugurated the feria.

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