BARCELONA -- Police closed down significant parts of the Mobile World Congress today while students protested cuts in education outside the event.
Security officials began erecting barriers at about 4 pm Barcelona time, effectively cutting the massive Fira exhibition center in two. Attendees and exhibitors were directed toward exits at the middle and rear of the Fira to avoid several hundred student protesters who staged a sitting protest for about two hours in the traffic circle outside the front entrance to the Fira.
Students outside said they were protesting cuts in education at all levels, especially prep schools and universities. The cuts involved hiring freezes, planned staff cuts and reductions in supplies and services.--Video by Sylvie Barak, Story and photos by Rick Merritt .
Police block off the traffic circle and front entrance to Barcelona's massive Fira exhibition center in the wake of student protests. The nearby subway station was also closed.
The sign says, "We are students, not criminals" referring to reports of students beaten and jailed in earlier protests in Valencia.
Whatever may be their demands -just or unjust- it is unwise to do demonstrations in an international exhibition like MWC. Because these issues are at national level and drawing international attention to such internal issues does not make much sense.