Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/962/26125

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 September 2017

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

Sindicato de Estudiantes marching against PP attacks on education, 2016, photo by Sindicato de Estudiantes

Sindicato de Estudiantes marching against PP attacks on education, 2016, photo by Sindicato de Estudiantes   (Click to enlarge)

On 25 November 2016 the Spanish government of conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy - under pressure from the large-scale student strikes of 26 October and 24 November organised by Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE - students' union) - scrapped the plans to reintroduce revalidation exams, first used under General Franco's dictatorship, and a way to discriminate against working class students.

As many students head back to university here, Gareth Bromhall of Socialist Students Wales spoke to Ana Garcia, the general secretary of SE, about this successful student movement and the lessons learned.

We've been following closely the student strikes in the Spanish state over the past year, can you tell us about the successes you have had? And the lessons learned?

In reality, last year's student strikes were only part of a bigger struggle against government attacks to destroy public education. This began in 2012 when Partido Popular (People's Party - a right-wing party) took office.

Since then we have organised 25 days of student strikes which have been very successful. We are fighting against the cuts to public education and against the government's new education laws.

These laws are based on the educational model of the Franco dictatorship (1939-75). They mean that people with little money cannot continue to study. We cannot accept such a measure which means that working class youth do not have the right to quality public education.

We had some important victories last year: we defeated the worst part of the Francoist education law, the reválidas franquistas (exams which were going to be used to justify the expulsion of thousands of students from the educational system with no qualifications).

The lessons we learned are very clear. When we unite and organise to struggle in the streets with the support of workers, we are strong enough to defeat any measure levied against the majority of the population.

That is a useful example for the working class in every sense, in every struggle: "Sí se puede" (yes we can)!

What issues have inspired these young people onto the streets and into struggle?

Working class youth who are now studying in high schools and universities have lived all their conscious life affected by a huge economic crisis. They have not experienced the 'good times'.

Everything they have known is cuts, attacks against the majority and the lack of an optimistic future. This is what capitalism has to offer us.

This is why class struggle is understood in such a natural way. We have no choice. If we don't fight there is no future for us and that is what we are seeing all around the world; in the United States, in Europe, and elsewhere. People are becoming more and more conscious of the need to change things.

In the Spanish state the struggle in defence of public education has been a catalyst for all the anger and discontent in society.

Can you tell us about the Libres y Combativas campaign?

Libres y Combativas is a new socialist feminist platform created by the Students Union and also Izquierda Revolucionaria (the Socialist Party's counterpart in the Spanish state). We launched it last March with protests and action in universities and high schools across the whole state against male chauvinist violence against women.

The results were great, much more than we expected. The key to that is the class perspective that we put forward. We cannot say that every woman is in the same situation and lives in the same way under oppression and sexism.

Working class women suffer in a deeper and disastrous way because of right-wing government cuts to public services that puts the care of the elderly, children and domestic tasks on our shoulders. Because of the super-exploitation we suffer in our jobs and because of a system which deprives us of economic independence, this creates the basis for violence against women.

We link the struggles of working class women to the struggle against the system. We really think that this is the only way to end women's oppression: we need to fight against the system which creates that oppression, ie capitalism.

Lots of women, young women and female workers are looking for a revolutionary way to change their situation and that is what we are going to do.

As students return to classes for another year, what are your goals, as an effective student-based organisation in the next period?

Our goals have not changed. We want the government to scrap all its class-based educational laws; we want back all the resources this government has stolen from our education to use it in their own benefit.

We have proven that when we fight, we win, so if the government continues its attacks on the living standards and conditions of the majority then we are going to answer with mobilisations, strikes and protests.

We are not stopping until we reach what we want: the right of everyone - it does not matter the area you live, the job your parents have or the money you have - to have a decent public education.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 13 September 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories retreat on pay cap

"I've been placed in charge of wards without defibrillators"

Rate of black imprisonment worse than US

Tories 'flouting duty' on poison air, says UN


TUC congress 2017

NSSN lobby of the TUC 2017: rank-and-file solidarity to smash the pay cap

TUC congress 2017: time for action on pay


Workplace news and analysis

Union victory at the Bank of England

Bus safety: we won't be distracted from public ownership

CWU members prepare for industrial action at Royal Mail

Barts strike - 'Up the ante' if necessary

McStriker addresses Greenwich trade unionists

Sports Direct's broken promises


Socialist Students

Kick out the Tories, fight for free education!

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

Young Socialists launched in Greater Manchester


International socialist news and analysis

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?


The fight in Labour

Readmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Thousands march in Bristol - mayor needs real anti-cuts strategy

Boost to Chatsworth NHS campaign


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon

Trotsky's "insightful and frank examination" of revolution out soon

The Socialist inbox

New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 September 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Students:

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleCoronavirus: Students' charter

triangleCoronavirus - a students' charter

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

triangleSocialist Students speaking tour

Union:

triangleCovid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

triangleEnergy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites

triangleUnited action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

Education:

triangleJohnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

triangleNo 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Education and exams

Women:

triangleShocking increase in domestic violence killings

triangleLockdown increases domestic violence calls - Tory money a drop in the ocean

Student:

triangleSouthampton: University workers win full pay for casual staff

Youth:

triangle'Roses are red, violets are blue, BP and Shell - we're coming for you'

Universities:

triangleUni strike takes fight to bosses

Young people:

triangleYoung people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

Socialist Students:

triangleTory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

University:

triangleNottingham uni occupation ends

International

International

27/5/20

Hong Kong

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests

27/5/20

Lebanon

Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon

20/5/20

US

Trump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race

6/5/20

India

India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus

6/5/20

Trump

Trump puts profit before safety (again)

6/5/20

US

US: Trump's public health cuts have condemned thousands worldwide

29/4/20

May Day

A CWI May Day 2020 statement

29/4/20

Ireland

Irish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

22/4/20

USA

US private healthcare system in meltdown

14/4/20

Coronavirus

Rapacious capitalism and the spread of coronavirus

8/4/20

CWI

Coronavirus, capitalism and fighting for socialism worldwide

8/4/20

Amazon

Amazon workers threaten revolution!

18/3/20

France

French local elections: CWI candidate elected

18/3/20

Coronavirus

United States: private healthcare exposed as Trump throws money at markets

18/3/20

Coronavirus

'Health not profit' strike wave sweeps Italy

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999