Protests intensify as May Day approaches


Major demonstrations are reported on three continents, with students in the lead in two countries.

Protesting the pain in Spain

First, the latest from Spain, reported by euronews:

Demonstrations are taking place in more than 50 towns and cities across Spain, as people vent their anger about austerity measures that will mean cuts to education and the health system.

Also facing Spain’s record unemployment levels, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Conservative government is trying to reduce public spending by 10 billion euros a year and stop Spain becoming the next epicentre of the euro zone crisis.

“We are protesting against the cuts and the deterioration of workers’ labour rights. It is clear that we are suffering a setback of more than 30 years. The situation now is disturbing, but what’s more disturbing is the situation that our children could inherit,” said Santiago, a protester in Madrid and a member of the UGT union.

Read the rest.

And here’s a report from RT on the increasing violence of Spanish police in the face of protesters:

In Chile, students march for reform

The story from the BBC:

Tens of thousands of students have taken part in protests in Chile in support of education reform.

Organisers said at least 50,000 marched in the capital Santiago on Wednesday, with police saying 25,000 attended.

Chilean students have held a series of mass protests recent months, demanding free public education for all.

Student leaders have said plans expected from conservative President Sebastian Pinera to direct extra money to education are not sufficient.

The protest in Santiago passed off largely peacefully, but some students did clash with police later in the day after a police booth was set on fire.

Smaller protests were also held in other cities, including Valparaiso and Concepcion.

“We will carry on making history… We students will not give up the fight to make education a public right,” student leader Gabriel Boric told Spain’s Efe news agency.

Read the rest.

Here’s an RT report on the protests:

And in Canada, a partial victory and more protests

Students in Quebec have been staging massive protests again planned college tuition hikes

From The Canadian Press:

The leaders of Quebec student groups say they expect their members to reject an offer from the [Premier Jean] Charest government.

The province’s three student groups were meeting this weekend to decide whether to accept a proposal by Premier Jean Charest and return to class.

After weeks of deadlock, the Charest government offered Friday to spread the tuition hikes over seven years instead of five and increase the province’s bursary program.

The immediate reaction from students was negative.

Several thousand people marched in a boisterous student protest in Montreal Friday night.

Read the rest.

More demonstrations followed Saturday.

Here’s some raw footage from vlogger grodron of Friday night’s march in Montreal:

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