Teachers joined other public sector workers and thousands of others in mass demonstrations this weekend. Demonstrators marched in 50 Spanish cities on Saturday and three other provinces joined in on Sunday, under the slogans 'Defend Public Services', 'Defend the People' and 'Change!'

The weekend's protests followed a mass protest in Madrid on Thursday 21st November by students and teachers against cuts and creeping privatisation. One student said, "Public education is being privatized. It’s not visible, but it is happening. This is going to lead to a situation where only rich people will be able to study; and the working class, like me, won't." Teachers say that the cuts are making it impossible for them to do their work, with class sizes rising and teacher numbers cut. The teachers and students are opposing the so-called LOMCE law, which, as well as legislating for more cuts, brings in high stakes testing, privatisation and most other neo-liberal 'reform' measures for public education. Teachers in the Balearic region of Spain have taken part in weeks of strike action against LOMCE and the cuts this term. 

The weekend protests were further incensed by demands from the European Union (EU) that Spain intensifies its neo-liberal measures including further deregulation of the labour market. Unemployment in Spain is already the second highest in the EU, with more than half of the youth unemployed.

As well as bringing in all the measures which have been demanded by the troika - the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - the Rajoy government, like the Spanish royal family, has been hit by corruption scandals. In an attempt to clamp down on protest against its unpopular and discredited administration, the government is bringing in draconian laws which will impose fines of up to $800,000 for unauthorised demonstrations near parliament and $40,000 for insulting a police officer. The leader of the group protesting home evictions in Spain responded to the plans: "We're not scared. We know the power that we the people have." 

Students are calling for a further nationwide education strike against the LOMCE law and against the cuts.