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My very politically involved school has appeared in a lot of Spanish media during the recent string of protests and strikes related to deep education cuts, as part of the current backlash against Rajoy’s austerity measures. Here they appeared in 20 minutos armed with their gigantic pencils at this week’s big protest in Valencia, during one of six scheduled strike days this month.

I have gone to a lot of manifestaciones here in Spain, and I am firmly supportive of peaceful protests everywhere – from the “Arab Spring” to the Occupy movements back home. However, I think it’s important to use the energy created by this collective flexing of our free speech rights and make sure we are participating in other ways that are more… preemptive? effective? engaged in the political process?

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