Last December 17th thousands of teaching professionals got together protesting for better working conditions. This demonstration followed a two weeks’ national strike.
My reportage illustration followed our walk from “Marquês De Pombal” to the Assembleia da República (Portuguese parliament), in Lisbon.
Marquês De Pombal (an emblematic roundabout in the center of Lisbon) made its way to the cars and gave its place to the teachers.
It was unbelievably inspiring to walk, to see so many people together, and to be able to walk in this place, always so crowded with cars at all times, now filled with teachers chanting for a better public education.
The adhesion to this protest was huge (almost thirty thousand teachers) and the cards were explicit:
“In the Fight for Education, “United teachers will never be defeated”; “I’m a teacher, please respect me”; “United to save education”; “No to municipalization”.
This last reason is, in the words of some teachers, offensive. This argument from the government is offensive because it removes all the autonomy and independence from the professional class.
Other claims included the issue regarding the career quotas or the full count of the work years in public education, which was frozen during the time troika arrived in Portugal, in 2011.
Already in front of the Assembleia da República, the final destination of the demonstration, the moment was electrifying with the majority of the teachers, in one voice, shouting the words directed to the minister João Costa: “Resign”; “It’s time for you to go home”.