A group of young people gathered by anti-fascist organizations has managed to prevent the event to which Javier Ortega Smith, a member of Vox, at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology of the Complutense University of Madrid, was invited. The event had already been canceled by the dean of the faculty the day before. However, both Platform 711, which organized the event and is outside the university, and Ortega Smith had warned that they would attend the event anyway.
At the gates of the faculty, more than 100 students awaited the arrival of the politician and the members of the platform. They have organized to prevent the event from taking place. The Vox councilor has arrived surrounded by dozens of people carrying Spanish flags and throwing slogans against the students.
They were also waiting for 19 riot vans that have formed a cordon between the politician’s companions, who did not belong to the faculty, and the political students and students from other faculties and universities who have come together to support the cause. They shouted their main demand and carried it written on posters: “Fascists out of the university.”
A group of professors from the faculty also participated in the protest. As they left the building to join the demonstration, their students received a round of applause thanking them for coming and supporting them.
The meeting did not last more than half an hour. The latent tension in the environment has been evaporating as the minutes passed. The two groups have never come close.
Ortega Smith has rebuked both the students and the dean. “Dean, we are watching you. Don’t hide, come down. Friend of Pablo Iglesias, this is not Cuba, this is not Venezuela. Dean, don’t hide, I’m seeing you. Don’t be a coward,” she yelled into a megaphone looking into one of the building’s windows. “Resignation dean”, chanted the companions, who neither belong to the faculty nor to the university.
An event that could not be held
Ortega Smith and Platform 711 knew that the act could not be held since the day before. The Faculty of Political Science and Sociology of the UCM launched a statement in which he explained that the event, called For the Cultural Reconquest, could not be carried out for formal reasons. In the note they explain that a professor of the Faculty reserved a classroom without specifying the nature of the act to academic authority. They also point out that the protocol for convening this type of event was not followed and that the purpose of the event was not “an academic or scientific discussion, typical of a public university.”
In addition, the statement indicates that the faculty “is a plural, diverse and open space, which advocates dialogue and democratic debate” and that it “energetically rejects the principles that it promotes (Platform 711), which with slogans such as ‘Year 711, a dishonorable political class allows one of the greatest disasters in our history that will take 800 years to correct. Year 2022, a different yoke, but the same ruling class’, illustrates his contempt for the democratic, scientific and academic values, on which the university community is based”.
From the Dean’s Office they also indicated that the dissemination of the activity through social networks and through posters in Madrid showed an intention to make “a call to action and to take over the Faculty”, so the event could pose “a risk for the facilities of the center and the safety of the staff and their students”.