Tens of thousands of students demonstrated and went on strike all over Spain last Thursday. They were protesting against the imminent imposition of the Bologna Plan – a European Union directive to homogenise university education.
The plan would mean the deterioration of Spain’s already under-funded university education system, further pressure on students, the cutting of courses not seen as “market orientated” and more privatisation.
The economic crisis has hit Spain particularly badly and unemployment is rising massively. It is expected that four million will be unemployed by the end of the year. In this context the mobilisations of recent months have a clearly anti-capitalist message.
Mass protests began last November and led to dozens of occupations. Previous actions had also led to the expulsion of six students from Barcelona’s Autonomous University when the authorities used old regulations from the era of the fascist dictator Franco to try and repress the movement.
The occupation of the Rectory in Barcelona’s Central University has now entered its fourth month.
With the latest mobilisations the protests enter a new stage. Already new occupations have been launched and call for an indefinite general strike throughout the university system is gathering support.
For more on the protests go to the site of Socialist Worker’s Spanish sister organisation, En Lucha » www.enlucha.org (in Spanish)