University of Mirail: press communiqués

The students of the University of Mirail have decided to increase their activity against the CPE and CNE by blockading the university.

Submitted by jef costello on March 18, 2006

They have come under attack from fascist groups while the police look on. They have issued three communiqués: these have been translated for to give a better idea of the process behind the widespread strikes and blockades that are shutting down the education system across France.

Press communiqué from the students engaged in struggle in Mirail. 16/03/06

Fascist violence in the Arsenal
Yesterday 1,000 students attended the general assembly of Arsenal University. This morning the assembly voted to blockade the establishment, joining many other universities in the struggle against the CPE. This is an historic moment as this university has never before voted to strike, even during the events of May 1968.

This hasn’t pleased neither the president of the university, nor the administration. The right-wing and extreme right-wing unions and political organisations (UNI, UTIL, GUD, RED, Jeunesses Identitaires...) were equally displeased.

This morning at around 9am, helmeted commandos, armed with tear gas grenades and metal bars assembled and attacked with extreme violence the students who were trying to maintain a peaceful blockade of the university. It is appalling that they were injured by such an attack.

Accompanied by the president of the university, Henry Roussillon, these commandos broke windows in order to gain entry to areas held by strikers. The strikers called on the police for help, so that they could leave without injury, the police chose not to intervene. Surrounded, the students inside were forced to organise themselves to repel the attackers with the means at their disposal. In solidarity students at other campuses who had not participated in the blockade came, so that they would not be left to face the fascists alone.

In the general panic the striking students improvised an evacuation, forming a march and chanting “peaceful demonstration” brandishing their student IDs to show that they were students at UT1.