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The University challenges Franco in 1956
In 1956 the University of Madrid is revealed and placed face to Franco’s regime, a group of university students who studied law gather and create a manifesto in which they talk about freedoms and national reconciliation, issues that were later going to create large disturbancesthat end up wounded, arrested and with the closure of the university.
After 56 a new stage begins in Spain because the art people who were studying at college begin to see Spain from another point of view. The February events surprised the regime and Franco classified university students as jaraneros. After the civil war, the university panorama is bleak because death or prison has expelled many teachers and the cloisters are intellectually poor and are little valued. Between 1939 and 1944 oppositions are called because more teachers are needed due to the lack of these, in that time it was said that it was a university without teachers.
In 1943 a new law was created that states that universities are under the position of the Catholic Church, the SEU is born with a non -professional political purpose and weapons are introduced into the university and this creates conflicts. Among students the environment is bland for the amount of uniforms, cassocks and nuns with a lot of lack of reading and initiative. In the 50’s a new one incorporated a new generation of students who arrive after teaching them in schools a religious training based on discipline and the principles of the phalanx. They were the children of the victors, they were around 20 and did not participate in the worst civil war if they had seemed their consequences. Within the University of Madrid, the Faculty of Law becomes the center of all the mobilizations to which people from several parts of Spain were going and took advantage of the free hours they had to be licensed in Political Science. In the 50s Spain comes out of international isolation and in 1953 Franco signed the agreements with the Vatican and also with the United States for the use of military bases and 2 years later Spain is admitted as a member of the United Nations, this caused a certainregime stability.
In 1951 Franco makes a change of government and Joaquín Ruiz Giménez became. The changes proposed. In 1952, Isabel II, Queen of England and two years later she announced her intention to visit Gibraltar and the Spanish media began a campaign against the British presence in Gibraltar. The SEU summons a patriotic manifestation and about 25.000 students go to this and they are incited to go to the English embassy and when crossing the Plaza de Colón there were police shots which some said that they were fire shots, action by the police that was totally unnecessary because notThey understood how they could be encouraging a demonstration and at the same time preparing to suppress it. The next day the press publishes a distorted article of police action and the spirits are exalted even more and thousands of students decide to go in demonstration to the Ministry of Education on Alcalá Street and when I was there they saw that it was the right time to redirectTowards a more important point and headed to the Puerta del Sol and made a sitting, the first anti -Franco outbreaks begin to leave. Enrique Mujica’s arrival at the Law Faculty with Ramón Tamames and Javier Praderas will form an inseparable trio, these young people realized that culture offers a slit to start agitating the regime. Mujica proposes the celebration of some encounters between poetry and the university and is aware that he has to attract relevant people of the world of culture and obtain the support of the rector of the Pedro Laín University and a former phalangist. For 6 months in 1954 the best poets of Spain of the time parade for the Faculty of Law.
After the success of these poetry meetings, they decideAnd this is what makes the Ministry of Education stop that project. The 55/56 course begins with bad news, the death of José Ortega that was the last reference for students and communists organize a lay tribute, thousands of people concentrate at the University of San Bernardo and then go in demonstration untilThe cemetery, at that time the rector of the University of Madrid writes a document to the government in which he warns of the restlessness in the university. Franco realizes that society and especially young people are getting further away from their ideology and realizes that Spain was changing. At the end of January 1956, Mujica, Pradera and Tamames decide. For this congress to have a greater resonance they decide before to write a manifesto, Tamames is in charge of its elaboration.
This manifesto is directed directly to the Government of the Nation and invite all the students to subscribe and on February 1 it is read in the faculties and in the major schools. The first challenge to Franco was already underway, the manifesto creates the alarm between the seu leaders, while the police start moving and on February 3 interrogate some of the authors of the brief and the first they call is Tamames because it wasThe best known. Critics are starting to run among people accusing the educational authorities they accuse of being creating a climate of moral corruption and ideological deviation between university youth. On February 6, the SEU makes a last effort to take control and summons all students and professors of the University of Law, the Assembly becomes chaos and students boo the representatives of the SEU.
To save this situation, the dean of Law Manuel Torres proposes to conveprevent the elections planned for the next day. By preventing these elections from being held, there willof mobilizing their centuries to avenge the desecration of their symbols. On Wednesday, February 8, the Falange Assault groups, members of Franco’s Guard and non -university phalangist.
It is the first time that the university is assaulted in that way and the news runs until reaching other centers, on the 9th it is a party and there is no class but the students go to the university to protest the assault of the previous day, they also goThe phalangists who surround the building again, meanwhile at another point in the city the SEU and the phalanx as every year pay homage to Matías Montero dead during the Second Republic. Meanwhile in the old house the university students are still cornered by the assault groups and after hours of tension the university students manageWithout knowing that at another point in the city some dozen of Falangists are also gathered and finally both groups are, the police loaded and several shots began to hear.
The injured are transferred to the hospital and the phalangists demand a rapid and forceful writing and begins to run the rumor that there will be a night of the knives if one of the falangist injured dies and the Minister of Education itself moves to the clinic to know theStatus of the young man. Black lists begin to run for the city with names among which were those responsible for education, that same night the police stop 7 promoters of the manifesto. On February 10, the state of exception is declared and several articles from the Spaniards are suspended and the closure of the university is re -ordered.
The regime press begin to talk about communist spell and the detainees are imprisoned in Carabanchel, days later the rest of the university cell falls. Repliations cause a government crisis, Franco ceases the Minister of Education and with him also the entire educational dome and the secretary general of the movement also falls. On February 20, the University opens its doors again while in the Miguel Álvarez hospital he recovers from his wounds, the promoters of the manifesto will pass between bars three months, in the university and in the educational field a setback was going to be produced. After the storm came calm but the university would not be the same as it was. The events of February 1956 did not achieve the desired openness but if they mobilized social sectors and exposed the weakness of the regime, in 1956 the University awakens and will no longer go back to sleep until the end of the dictatorship.
All these events were clearly a before and after in the history of Spain. The students did what they had to do against Franco’s government to defend their rights as people. They were very brave and despite knowing that they could lose everything they threw themselves into the streets and gradually dismantle the Franco regime.