Students have blocked the entrance to a university building in Barcelona, in Spain’s Catalonia region, and erected barricades inside. They have refused to leave until the rector reforms the curriculum and financial policy.
Activists led by the Catalan student union SEPC used wheeled garbage containers to block the entrances to the University of Barcelona rector’s office on Tuesday.
They built barricades inside the building using benches and other furniture. The group said on social media that its members will not leave until the university agrees to meet its demands to improve the curriculum and learning environment.
✊🏽L’estudiant amb el compromís ja hem fet una primera passa endavant per començar a revertir la situació d’emergència. ⚠️ Rectors, ara us toca a vosaltres. 🔥 Aquí seguim bloquejant accessos i amb el convenciment de no marxar fins obtenir resposta.📸 @Chichiflesky © pic.twitter.com/ZAioD2v3ss
— SEPC (@SEPC_nacional) April 20, 2021
According to the TOT Barcelona news website, overall around 150 students blocked seven entrances to the university in an effort to prevent both teachers and other students from entering the premises.
Shortly after the events in Catalonia’s capital, students also occupied the campus of the main university of Girona, a city 85km (53 miles) from Barcelona.
SEPC wants university authorities to sign a pledge to end what they call “a crisis in education.”
The group’s demands include more equitable tuition fees, paid internships and guarantees that classes are taught in the Catalan language. The students also want the introduction of “feminist protocols” and to make the curriculum women-focused.
SEPC spokesperson Anna Clua told local media that these measures ensure all students “have access to dignified public education.”
Last week, around 80 activists blocked a road near the university campus in Barcelona, voicing the same demands.
The Catalan Association of Public Universities is expected to hold a meeting later on Tuesday to discuss the response to the situation.
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