★ ISM - UK
Taipei, March 26th:
Protest against Tuition Fees
Anti-Commercialisation Platform Initiated
Not only in Canada students are currently struggling against increasing tuition fees but also in Taiwan, where the government announced plans to hike fees by 10% last week. A final decision on this issue is expected by the end of April, but students are angry and didn't want to wait.
Close to 100 students, teachers and labour union activists got organised and gathered in front of the Ministry of Education in Taipei to hold a "Press Conference". Various speeches were held, a rather huge media presence covered the event and the activists did not let the huge police force at the spot intimidate them.
Tsai Chung-yi (蔡忠益), section chief of the MOE’s Department of Higher Education, faced the students, but only spread hot air saying that a final decision has not been taken yet and that he will forward the message to the minister. Since the minister or chief secretary didn't come out to receive their demands and to express their dissatisfaction with the reaction to their protest activists decided to tear up a huge poster with their goals.
It listed the following three points:
The protest was also used by the activists to express their unity with the ongoing student strike in Quebec and with education activists worldwide. After all this is a common struggle and we are all in this together.
Quebec, March 22nd:
Student Strike and Massive Rally
against Tuition Fees
Just like in many other parts of the world people in Quebec (Canada) struggle against ever increasing tuition fees, where authorities now announced plans to hike them by 75% over the next 5 years.
To resist these moves students in Quebec have been building a major student strike over the recent weeks. L'Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ) is leading the current student strike, via Coalition large de l’ASSÉ (CLASSE).
Following a massive rally against tuition fees with up to 300,000 people in the streets of Montreal...
....CLASSE is now calling for a week of actions disrupting the economy and the State from March 26 to March 30.
Movement in support of 5 Students
Expelled at the German University in Cairo
UPDATE: Two students at the American University of Cairo began a hunger strike in solidarity with the activists at GUC on March 3rd. (academic.aucegypt.edu)
Once again students at the German University in Cairo (GUC), a rather elitist private institution with 5,500 students, are affected by repressive measures of the administration. Five students were suspended for protesting on campus while mourning the death of Karim Khozam, a GUC student who was killed during the uprising last year.
On February 29th hundreds of students protested against these suspensions and staged a sit-in at the admins office.
Starbucks at Boğaziçi University occupied:
"Cheap and Healthy Food and Freedom!"
On December 5th hundreds of students gathered near campus of Boğaziçi Üniversitesi in Istanbul to protest the increasing commercialisation of spaces on campus as well as for affordable and healthy food for everyone. Following the rally about 100 students began to squat the Starbucks outlet on campus. The occupation still continues today (Dec. 11th).
Massive Protests for Access to Education
~ December 8th ~
NOTE: this video contains material of graphic violence from minute 10:10 onwards!
The only two public universities in Togo, the University of Lomé and the University of Kara, were temporarily shut down by authorities after riot police clashed with students on campus on thursday (Dec. 8th). To break up the protest police forces fired teargas and chased students.
The protests were triggered by a new "financial aid policy", which was introduced last month. Now payouts are only to be awarded to students considered "brilliant" or "outstanding" instead to all scholars as before. Before the introduction of this new regulation, all students received 20,000 FCFA (= 40US$, 30€) per semester.
The two public universities enrol more than 60,000 students. Besides that there are also several private institutions in this small West African country.
Students arranged general assemblies at the University of Lomé and the University of Kara, which were attended by thousands. Dozens were injured by the riot police. There are reports that they also used live ammunition. At least one student was shot in the hand.
The protests will continue.
If you have updates on the situation and want to see them published here, then drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For activists across the African continent to network and connect an ISM-Africa facebook group was set up.