November 22: Global Education Strike

Reports Worldwide:
Global Education Strike

November 22nd 2012

In the struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education and for free emancipatory education people around the world coordinated the Global Education Strike (GES). It was marked by the Global Day of Action to RECLAIM EDUCATION -- Direct Democracy NOW! on October 18th as well as the GES itself from November 14th until the 22nd.
Basis of which was this call to action as well as this international joint statement.

overview of further activities related to the GES around the world: ism-global.net/GES_activities

For comments or any missing reports please contact ism_admin[at]lists.riseup.net.

Reports of GES related activities on November 22nd:

Hannover: demonstration for free and self-determined education

Demonstration for free Education in Hannover


Around 2,000 (school) students protested against tuition fees and for self-determined education by marching through the city centre of Hannover in a demonstration.

Hannover is a city in the federal state of Lower-Saxony - one of two states (out of 16) still generally charging tuition fees in Germany. Many other federal states were forced to abolish fees again due to massive protests in the recent past, e.g. in North-Rhine Westphalia.

Adding all fees together students in Lower-Saxony are still charged around €725 per semester. Some political parties - at least officially - support the abolishment of tuition fees. Therefore some people put their hopes on the state elections on January 20th 2013.
But of course the problems within the education system are not only linked to tuition fees. Many problems are direct symptoms of the currently dominating economic system on the global level. These symptoms (for example schools and universities functioning as factories producing human capital to be exploited on the labour market) will not be solved by any political parties.

sources (in German): haz.de + dradio.de

Lausanne: sit-in against increasing tuition fees at ÉPFL

Sit-in against increasing Tuition Fees
at 
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

In the struggle against increasing tuition fees more than 300 students staged a sit-in at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, while blocking the entrance to the so called Rolex Learning Center on campus.

sources (in French): 24heures.ch + rts.ch

Manila: rally against increasing commercialisation of education

Rally against increasing
Commercialisation of Education in
Manila

Also in Manila hundreds of people rallied to protest against the increasing commercialisation of education. The day was also marked with walk-outs at colleges and universities across the country.

Just like around the world increasing (tuition) fees at universities as well as other symptoms that come with an increasing commercialisation of education pose big challenges for many people on the Philippines. For more background info check out this report on the most recent student strike at the University of the Philippines (UP) in September 2012.

Montréal: student strike and demonstration for free education

Student Strike across Québec
and Demonstration in Montréal


December 22nd marked a highlight of the week of action as part of the Global Education Strike at universities and Cégeps across Québec. About 65,000 students were on strike in the province at least on this day and more than 5,000 students (some even say 30,000), parents, and lecturers rallied in Montréal for a demonstration.

The protest was organized by  the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ), one of the largest student groups in Québec. ASSÉ helped to coordinate last year’s student strikes.


For the first time an 'english' college in Québec joined the strike: Vanier College.

Students’ Society of McGill University Vice-President External  Robin Reid-Fraser attended the protest with a small group of McGill students. “It’s so important to remember that this kind of struggle is happening all over the world, and to show that we have these ways of creating connections and showing that solidarity, especially since the police response in many other places can be even more severe than here in Québec,” she said.

Starting at Victoria Square, the protest wound through downtown Montreal, before ending at Parc Émilie Gamelin. Although the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) declared the protest illegal because the organizers did not disclose their planned route, SPVM announced that they would allow the protest to continue as long as no criminal acts were committed. At the end of the day no arrests were reported.

Enjoy these inspiring videos and pictures:


banner says:
"We're not calling for a free university, but a free society.
A free university amid a capitalist society is much like having a lecture hall inside a prison
"

credits for the pictures: blogocram.wordpress.com + quelquesnotes.wordpress.com

more pictures: flickr.com [II] + martinmartel.com + quelquesnotes.wordpress.com + blogocram.wordpress.com

mainstream news info (incl. video reports):
cbc.ca + mcgilltribune.com + globalmontreal.com + montreal.ctvnews.ca + montrealgazette.com

facebook: event page

Santiago de Chile: strike and demonstration for free education

Thousands rally for Free Education in Santiago


Also in Chile the struggle for freely accessible education continues. Students in Santiago went on strike for that day and around 3,000 of them gathered in the streets for a demonstration.

Just like in Montréal the rally was unauthorized. But in this case it was attacked by riot cops. Many students seeked refuge by barricading themselves on the campus of Santiago University. This led to battles between students and cops nearby and also on campus, which was stormed by police forces. Several students were injured and at least four arrested.

While larger student organisations, such as the Confederation of Chilean Student Federations, announced that protests would be suspended until the next year, this unauthorized demonstration was reportedly led by anarchist off-shoots from the wider student movement. Tuition costs in Chile are among the highest in the world and many are demanding free access to education for all.

a collection of videos and pictures:

credit for pictures marked with Difusión Fotográfica: Ignacio Antonio Parraguez Saez

a few more pictures on: demotix.com