School students were faced with riot police using tear gas yesterday (2nd November) as they protested in Athens. The students were protesting cuts in education which mean shortages of infrastructure, books and in particular teachers. Thousands gathered in the capital to demonstrate in front of the parliament building.

The secondary teachers union OLME held a three hour work stoppage yesterday in support of the students' protest.

Although the Greek constitution promises free education for all, in practice even before the economic crisis hit in 2009, parents with the means sent their children to extra tuition because of the underfunding of public schools. Continued cuts in public education since then, which have carried on under Syriza since it has been forced to capitulate to the demands of the Troika, have made the situation much worse. This combined with the huge rates of poverty in the country mean that it is almost only the wealthiest who can make it possible for their children to go on to higher education. Even then of course, there is little work.

Both Greek school students and teachers, in particular the secondary teachers union OLME have been in the forefront of .  Hopes that the battle had been won with the election of Syriza have been dashed as the Troika continues to demand its pound of flesh.

So the struggle goes on and deserves all our support.