dimecres, 15 d’abril de 2009

30th March: Tomàs Sayés Ends Hunger Strike

After 35 days on hunger strike Tomàs Sayés, a 25 year old student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, has ended his hunger strike following his hospitalisation on 29th March 2009. Doctors said that he'd been taken in just in time, as his kidneys were on the point of suffering serious damage. As well as having very low sugar levels, Tomàs weighed just 49.5kg (7.8 stone). On the day of his admission, 100 students held a demonstration at his campus calling for the resignation of Anna Ripoll (the rector of his university). The protesters were prevented from entering the university building by security guards and smashed a glass door.

As Tomàs' condition slowly improves, we should take this opportunity to reflect on how the institutions have, in their desire to implement a privatising reform on a public service, risked a human life through their refusal to concede to his demands. The institutions refuse to hold a debate with the students, the very agents affected by the plans. Furthermore, they have tried to silence critical voices by calling in the police, expelling students and attempting to manipulate the mass media. The last point is illustrated by the distinct lack of commercial media coverage given to the hunger strike.

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