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50 Years of the Academic Crisis of 1969 celebrated at NOVA

More than 120 participants recalled the legacy of the student struggle at the end of the '60s.

Recalling the legacy of the student struggle of Coimbra in the late 1960s was the purpose of the 50th-anniversary commemorative colloquium on the 1969 Academic Crisis which brought together over 120 prominent figures of the Portuguese society at the NOVA's Rectorate on December 3

Professor José João Abrantes, Pro-Rector of NOVA, began the colloquium with a speech in which he described the national and international sociopolitical context that would trigger the various events that characterize the episode of the 1969 Academic Crisis, such as strikes to class and exams, protests and academic grief. The Professor also recalled the importance of remembering «one of the most remarkable moments of the fight against fascism in Portugal. When in Europe and Portugal there are growing far-right political projects, it is imperative to denounce the nature of the regime that governed us between 26 and 74».

He also warned that the episode was still very present, saying that «the students were fighting for a new university and a new country. They fought against an oppressive political regime and an unjust war, but also for a change of life and values. (…) The Coimbra struggle in 1969 is part of a long road, far from reaching the goal.»

The event continued with a debate led by António José Teixeira, which featured several figures who played a relevant role in the 1969 Academic Crisis, namely Alberto Martins (in 1969, President of the Coimbra Academic Association's Directorate-General), Celso Cruzeiro (in 1969, member of the Directorate General of the Academic Association of Coimbra), Francisco George (in 1969, medical student in Lisbon) and Mário Campos (in 1969, medical student and football player of Académica).

5 sentences of the debate

During the debate, there were several relevant interventions. Here are some:

  1. «[The Academic Crisis of 1969] was a time of politicization of the students and therefore a moment of great singularity» - Alberto Martins, President of the Directorate-General of the Academic Association of Coimbra in 1969
  2. «The crisis in Coimbra allowed us to unite around concrete questions of student activity, making it possible to bring together people with very different political ideals» - Celso Cruzeiro, member of the Directorate General of the Academic Association of Coimbra in 1969
  3. «Outside, this protest was described at the time as the most peaceful ever» - Francisco George medical student in Lisbon in 1969
  4. «Football is a political weapon (...) If there were no football, this visibility we helped to create would not exist. It's funny that, with regard to this Final, no one talks about the game»- Mário Campos, medical student and Académica football player in 1969, referring to the 1969 Cup Final in which the Academic played against Benfica in a match that was scheduled by actions associated with student struggle

As a Global and Civic University, NOVA seeks to support initiatives that promote democratic values ​​and contribute to building an effective and responsible academic institution, in line with SDG 16 - Peace, Justice, and Effective Institutions. Learn about other University initiatives that contribute to this Development Goal.