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(en) Portugal: The struggle continues at the D. João de Castro secondary school in Lisbon

Date Wed, 15 Feb 2006 18:51:20 +0200


Dear comrades,
Once again, the self-organized students of the D. João de Castro Secondary
School locked the gates of the school today and gathered outside shouting
slogans and chanting against the closure of the school ordered by the Ministry
(supposedly to be merged with the Fonseca Benevides Secondary School).
Later, around 150 students together with some teachers and school employees got
aboard two buses and got off at Praça de Saldanha. We formed a march with
banners and placards containing slogans like "the ministry is wrong to close D.
João school" and "D. João united will never be defeated", and proceeded down
Av. October 5 to the Education Ministry buildings.

There, a delegation handed an official a copy of a leaflet containing scale
maps of the two school buildings, the D.João de Castro and the Fonseca
Benevides school which is planned to house the 2 merged schools! (See
http://pt.indymedia.org/cidades/c1/imgpublico/1139852293452b7096dc.JPG )

One student member of the delegation demanded an explanation as to why they had
chosen to shut down the D.João de Castro School and also demanded an answer to
the letter sent to the Minister containing over 400 signatures, collected in
the space of just one week and give formally delivered to the Ministry on
January 30th.

After leaving the Min. of Education building, we were interviewed by several
journalists.

http://www.publico.clix.pt/shownews.asp?id=1247825&idCanal=74
http://www.publico.clix.pt/shownews.asp?id=1247805
http://sic.sapo.pt/online/noticias/vida/200602D.+Joao+de+Castro+encerrada+a+cadeado.htm
http://www.correiomanha.pt/noticia.asp?id=191652&idselect=21&idCanal=21&p=94

Our initiative is being reported in the media and winning against an autocratic
Ministry that is unwilling to listen or to engage in dialogue with us.

The Ministry wants to "stage-manage" the process in the "gentlest" possible
way, without making waves, for what it counts with the embarrassed silence of
those who refrain from taking a position on the matter, a matter which is
within the remit of the unions and which is, above all, a case of the defence
of State education against neo-liberal plans for privatization and for the
impoverishment of the education system!

So far, the FESAL-E (both its Portuguese Collective and other member
organizations of this European federation such as the Spanish CGT, the
Independent Union of Students and Apprentices of Italian-speaking Switzerland -
SISA) and the recently-created Libertarian Student Union (Coimbra) have
demonstrated their solidarity.

It is important to widen the scale of that support to include all progressive
forces, especially anti-capitalists and libertarians. This resistance is a
first response to a vast plan to close schools all over the country, a plan
that has already been announced by the Education Ministry.

Please send letters of protest and solidarity to the Minister with copies to
the D. João de Castro School.

Below(*) you will find a suggested text, together with the necessary fax
numbers.


Solidarity,

Manuel Baptista


(*)Sample text:
NÃO AO ENCERRAMENTO DA ESCOLA D. JOÃO DE CASTRO.
EM DEFESA DA ESCOLA PÚBLICA.
NÃO À ESPECULAÇÃO.

NO TO THE CLOSURE OF ESCOLA D. JOÃO DE CASTRO.
DEFEND THE STATE SCHOOLS SYSTEM.
NO SPECULATION!

Education Ministry fax no.: (+351) 213 970 310

Please also send a copy to the School:
Escola D. João de Castro fax no.: (+351) 21 361 64 97


Translation by Anarkismo.net
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