(Eng) CNT and the University of Granada (Cast)

Luis Prat (prat@chem.ucsb.edu)
Tue, 9 Apr 1996 08:57:15 -0700

CNT - MARZO 1996
c/ Molinos, 64. 18009 Granada
Tel 958 - 22 01 19


The ongoing struggle by the University section of the CNT of Granada has
begun to yield positive results. What started as a localized conflict has
reached the whole of the confederal geography. Granada's CNT as a whole and
the regional syndicates and confederations have shown with their
unconditional support how the solidarity and muscle of direct action are
efficient weapons for the working class.

The latest actions:

After the events that unleashed the university management's refusal to
recognize the rights of the CNT and the repression against office workers
delegate Fernando Dorado (see previous CNTs) the comrades from the teacher's
union organize a big campaign of information and vindication. Pamphlets,
posters, press conferences and releases, collection of signatures etc. begin
to circulate among the university's personnel which tops 4000 people among
laborers, faculty and office workers. The struggle appears one sided between
a giant of great economic power and social presence in our city as is the
University and the comrades from the Confederation. The remaining unions
represented at the academic institution (CCOO, UGT, JSO independientes,
CIPLU, CSIF and CGT) support Fernando Dorado in writing - later we'll see
how far they keep their support - and the dailies IDEAL and La Cronica turn
their letters to the Editor section into a tableau for the spreading of
daily replies and counter-replies and accusations and show their adhesion by
stamping their signatures on papers designed for such effect.

The Rectory returns the blows and warns the workers personally that "it has
taken notice of such and such act of support". The atmosphere becomes rarer
and the threats, the rumors intentionally spread and the lies take their
toll among the most fearful. Meanwhile, Fernando has been suspended without
pay since December 13. In the middle of the electoral campaign IU (Izquierda
Unida, left political parties coalition T.N.) manifests its support of
Fernando Dorado. But the situation doesn't change. The Administration holds
fast: we must move on to action.

After a meeting held between the unions it's agreed to have a gathering of
support in front of the Rector's building (Hospital Real). CNT and CGT call
for a meeting for that day and time in order to protect those assembled from
possible labor reprisals. The [university's] manager answers the call for a
gathering by unauthorizing it.

And here comes the lock-in:

The gathering takes place on wednesday. About 50 people from CNT, CIPLU and
CGT talk to the press, display their banners and show their support. Next
they go up to the red hall, anteroom to the Rector's office, and have their
picture taken. Beforehand the collected signatures have been delivered. Once
in the red hall, CNT members (the largest part of those gathered) show their
intention of remaining there until they get an appointment to see the
Rector. They display a large banner outside with the slogan "Against
Syndical repression and the Rector's terrorism: Direct Action". Windows and
rooms are decorated with red and black flags and twenty-some comrades take
over the noble room intently watched by an Inmaculate Conception, a Christ
by Malleu, the attendees to the funeral of Felipe el Hermoso and several
dozens of serious and grave faces belonging to previous Rectors of such a
rank institution.

Nothing new until well into the afternoon. Those locked in come and go with
freedom and receive many visits from union comrades. CGT will make its first
and only act of presence in the lock-in to express their support which later
will not congeal, although we note the interest on the part of Manolo and
Leandro from that union. Mid-afternoon Vicerector Jose Luis Gonzalez
appears, visibly upset. He offers an interview with the Rector for the
following day and invites them to abandon the lock-in and move to another
room where they can't be seen. The demonstrators announce their intention to
remain there until the meeting takes place and so it happens. The Secretary
of the CNT's National Comittee gets in contact with the Vicerector on the
phone, seconding and supporting the comrades' action. The night and the
weather - they've shut off the heating and it's several degrees below zero
outside - are fought off with good humor, abundant food (thank you Pablo and
Lolita for your pastries), local wine, dancing and fandangos. The
University's law enforcement personnel has been beefed up with rent-a-cops
from a private company, but there are no problems. Comrade Paco Garrido
conquers the whole world and the Valencia [team] suffers 5 goals from Jesus
Gil's team.

Morning arrives as well as the coffe with milk. The Rector refuses to see
the comrades. They are told that the lock-in is a crime, that the banner is
slanderous and that he gives in not an inch. Neither do the demonstrators.
By now all of Granada knows about the lock-in through the press and the
radio. The siege hardens and the demonstrators are told that from now on
nobody will be able to enter or exit the red hall. They also threaten to
have the police evict them. The surveillance by the rent-a-cops is fooled
several times, a large amount of food and reading material is secured. The
management of the security company, Alhambra, meets with the demonstrators
and the siege is softened. In the afternoon several dozens of CNT militants
gather outside the building with flags and banners. They come inside and
reach the Rector's quarters to meet with the comrades locked in, now almost
under siege. Attorney Javier Galech is there in case his services are
needed. Once they are satisfied that the demonstrators are in good
condition, in high spirits and well supplied they proceed with the
demonstration. At that moment three vans from the national police and
several patrol cars arrive. These are the tensest moments. The students from
the Instituto de Formacion Profesional, located across the street, reprimand
the pigs. The comrades fear that a forceful eviction will take place, as the
administration has threatened several times. A conversation with the head of
the anti-riots goes on. There will be no eviction. It is dark and the
comrades spend their second night in the red hall.

The morning of the 23rd is sunny. The comrades take their habitual cafe con
leche with rolls that as usual arrives promptly. The change of guard of
those locked in will take place in the morning as was agreed last night.
They must act quickly without raising suspicions. Moral is still very high,
but there's a certain edginess. As agreed at the assembly of the University
section, the Local Federation's Secretary for syndicalist action makes some
phone calls to the Rector. At the same time the General Manager visits the
demonstrators with an inflexible attitude. A spokesperson for those
locked-in comes out to find out how the negotiations are going. Outside
everything is in place to relieve the occupants of the red hall. At that
moment - around noon - the Rector agrees to an interview with CNT and
discuss everything next tuesday at 18.00 hours. The agreement accepted by
the section has been fulfilled and the comrades leave the lock-in. The local
press, radio and TV continue airing the news. There is excitement at the CNT
local in Ave. de la Constitucion. Everything is up in the air.

During the weekend the atmosphere continues to get hotter until tuesday the
27th when the meeting takes place. After a meeting an hour and a half long
the Rector agrees to accept the accreditation of a union delegate with all
the guarantees afforded by the law, plus as many others as CNT chooses for
its internal management. The electronic account, internal mail, union
headquarters, the right to information are accepted verbally until the CNT
writes their demands down for an official answer.

Likewise the syndical section must document those instances of coercion that
have happened so that they may be corrected. The Rector (Lorenzo Morillas,
Rector, the Vicerector and the General Manager are present at the meeting)
informs about the status of Fernando Dorado's case which is now reduced to
four points. He makes it known that the investigation into these allegations
will be as speedy as legally possible. The delegation leaves the meeting
with a dry mouth and informs the union and the other comrades. Now the
second part of the campaign in support of Fernando Dorado will begin.


@@@@@@@@@@ ****
* /\ *
Luis J. Prat * /__\ *
* / \ *
University of California * *
Chemistry Dept. ****
Santa Barbara CA 93106
(805) 893-3295
(805) 893-4120 FAX

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