The Madrid Book Fair organisers have taken a decision to exclude the F. Engels Foundation from this year’s book fair. The FFE is the main publisher and distributor of Marxist books in Spain and has been participating in the Madrid book fair since 1998. The growing interest that it has generated is seen as a threat by the organisers and sponsors of the Fair. The organising committee is meeting for the last time before the book fair on Monday April 24th. We have received an appeal for protest letters to be sent to the organisers asking them to review their position. There is a model letter in Spanish which you can sign. Make sure you send copies of any letters to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A militant mood is developing among Spanish workers. Thanks to their mobilisations a PSOE government is in office. Now reaction has reared its ugly head, including army officers, but the leaders of the left and the trade unions are doing everything they can to hold back the workers. At the same time the bosses are on the offensive, announcing plant closures and sackings. However, the workers are not always prepared to stay calm and do nothing.

Last year the PSOE leader Zapatero was swept to power on the back of mass mobilisations against the war in Iraq in the aftermath of the Madrid bombings. He has introduced some minor reforms, but has not tackled the real issues facing the Spanish working class. Now the PP, backed by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, has been mobilising the most reactionary layers of Spanish society. The “two Spains” are back.

On Sunday 23 February, more that 1200 coaches and countless private cars took tens of thousands of Galicians, especially youth, to Madrid to the demonstration called by the Plataforma Nunca Máis. For a period of four hours all the avenues of the centre of Madrid witnessed a human flood of protesters, demanding the resignation of ministers and measures to alleviate the catastrophe of the oil tanker Prestige.

On October 29, high school students and teachers, called by the teachers' unions CCOO and UGT and the Students Union and with the support of the parents' associations, went out on the streets. This was the largest mobilisation in the education sector since 1986-87 and had been called to protest against the new education reform imposed by the right wing PP government, the misnamed "Quality Law". The strike was followed by 90% of students and by 60% of the teachers, despite a campaign against on the part of the conservative teachers' unions, and there were also strikes in some universities.

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