Actions during the Global Week of Action [summary]


The following is an attempt to list most of the actions, events and protests as part of the "Reclaim your Education - Global Week of Action" [20 - 29/04] around the world. So far groups in more than 50 cities in 20 countries on 5 continents sent in reports about their protests and actions. This was the second attempt (1st was the "International Day of Action against the Commercialization of Education" on Nov.5th 2008) to unite groups around the world struggling against the commercialization of education. The next Global Week of Action is already in the making. Get involved!!

With each internationally co-ordinated protest the movement gets stronger!!

Please note that you can also print out a leaflet giving you a brief overview of the protests during the Global Week of Action in April in German and English [print in duplex + fold].

--------------------------------------

~ 20/04/2009 ~

Heidelberg (Germany)

d e m o n s t r a t i o n

More than 500 students and pupils kicked off the Global Week of Action with a demonstration through the old town of Heidelberg followed by a general assembly on campus.

They called for a ban on tuition fees, free access to education for all and democratic participating procedures within all decision making processes at all level within university.

The problems of the students were also linked with the problems of workers, unemployed and pensioners.

A lot of pamphlets were distributed and people informed about the Global Week of Action. At some touristy places speeches were also held in English to inform tourists about the purpose of the demonstration.

 

Source: de.Indymedia.org

 

Münster (Germany)

Activists began the week by setting up a sound system on campus and distributing flyers on the whole campus informing about the Global Week of Action. Later that day street theater was performed to raise awareness.

Programm for the full week: bildungsstreik-muenster.de (in German)

Source: de.Indymedia.Org

 

Hamburg (Germany)

l o c a l   W e e k   o f   A c t i o n

As part of the Global Week of Action activists in Hamburg arranged a local week of action at their faculty for pedagogics, sports and psychology. The slogan of the week is "think global, act local". That particular faculty was especially hard hit by recent budget cuts. Their budget was reduced by 11%. Since today alternative seminars are taking place broaching the issue of "public education as a public good", as well as teaching poster printing skills in workshops, as well as discussing anti-pedagogical approaches. Various activists were recruited for the "campus army", who are now visiting seminars wearing white masks and asking all students to be obedient, consume the content they are being taught without questioning it and most importantly not to join the protests. Some seminars were spontaneously held in public spaces. One was attended by 50 students and deemed illegal by the police. Consquently the professors details were recorded and 6 students received a complaint + a banner was confiscated.

There is a soup kitchen on campus for each day of the week of action providing delicious vegan and vegetarian meals.


Media report: taz.de

Source: de.Indymedia.org

 

Tampere (Finland)

The day began with lowering a banner from the rooftop of the university, followed by a welcoming speech and everyone entering the university. There were several dozen participants. Societal songs were sung inside the university. Actions executed by the student movement in Tampere and elsewhere in Finland were presented. There was a discussion on which themes the student movement should grab in the future, both inside and outside universities. Students' monetary situation and basic security matters were also discussed, as well as the administration of spaces at university and general societal situation. After the opening of Global Action Week documentaries were shown as a basis for discussion. The chosen documentaries were "The Potentiality of Storming Heaven", "Money as Debt" and "Good Copy/Bad Copy".


"University belongs to Everyone" in Finnish

Source: E-Mail

 

Zagreb (Croatia)

o c c u p a t i o n

The Independent Student Initiative for the Right to Free Education has organized a peaceful occupation of the Faculty of Philosophy. The occupation has been initiated as a mean to promote their demand for free education for all. They have stopped classes and exams, and have organized various lectures, discussion and movie screenings instead of normal classes. They'll be translating some of their press releases in English and German, to make the information about the occupation available to others outside the region. Right now, their materials are only available in Croatian, at this web page: slobodnifilozofski.bloger.hr

Video, unfortunately only in Croatian, is available here.

An article in English can be accessed here.

The action seems to get a lot of media coverage in Croatia.

The occupation still continues!


"One World One Struggle, Education is not for Sale"
in Croatian

 

Salzburg, Innsbruck, Linz, Bregenz, St. Pölten, Klagenfurt, Burgenland (Austria)

d e m o n s t r a t i o n s

A day of action took place in various cities across Austria for better conditions and more financial assistance for the public education system. "Bail out Education - not Banks" was the main slogan. The government is threatening to cut the budget.

Salzburg: Almost 3,000 students and pupils gathered there, also protesting against the "Bologna process". Students were calling for international solidarity among the different movements struggling against the commercialization of education around the world and demanded free education for all. (More info & pictures: at.indymedia.org [in German])

Innsbruck: 1,200 students protested here.

Graz: According to media reports 500 pupils joined the demonstration.

Bregenz: Apparently 500 people also joined the demonstration here.

Linz: 400 people took to the streets here.

St. Pölten: Hundreds joined a rally to protest for better education policies.

Klagenfurt: Around 150 pupils gathered here to protest.

Burgenland: As part of the day of action a media gimmick was arranged.

Source (with video): Salzburg.Com (video) and at.indymedia.org (both in German)

 

Sabadell (Catalunya; Spain)

o c c u p a t i o n

In addition to actions held by current university students regarding the implementation of the Bologna Process in Catalonia, groups of college students, those facing a future crippled by the privatising reforms, are mobilising. This week, a campaign of college occupations is occurring in the Catalan territories, organised by student assemblies. Around 100 students from four colleges in Sabadell (near Barcelona) passed the night in l'Escola Industrial college in the centre of the city. They slept in the patio because the headteacher wouldn't let them in the building, and thus avoided eviction. The occupation was organised with different events scheduled over its three day duration. The purpose of the action was to make the teaching institution an informative space, since information regarding the educational reforms is being blocked from those affected.

Source: interuni-bcn.blogspot.com

 

~ 21/04/2009 ~

Tampere (Finland)

The student movement served free soup and provided information in front of a university building as part of a boycott on Sodexo (there is a Sodexo restaurant in the building). A reporter from a prime Finnish newspaper documented the action, as well as several other medias. On-going reading circles at the university presented themselves, and there were public discussions on selected texts by Bourdieu, Gramsci and on a pamphlet called "Wissensarbeit Macht Frei".

In the evening a Finnish movie called "Vihreä leski" [Green widow] was shown. The movie is about the anxiety and alienation caused by suburbanity.


Source: E-Mail

 

Casablanca (Morocco)

Projections and displays on public education at the University of Casablanca.

Source: E-Mail


Zagreb and Zadar (Croatia)

o c c u p a t i o n s (update)

The Independent Student Initiative for the Right to Free Education is continuing the peaceful occupation of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb which started on Monday at noon. The students have stopped classes and exams, and instead are holding an alternative educational program. Instead of the normal classes, students were able to attend discussions and lectures on similar student protests that were held in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; neoliberalism, Croatian transition and economic democracy; consumerism; anarchism and education, and so on. Mark Kramer from Harvard University held a lecture on Cold War. Movie screenings were also held: "Czech Dream", "Money as Debt" and "Beyond Elections: Redifining Democracy in Americas" were among the movies that were shown.

The official web page with information on the occupation is available in Croatian here. There is also a press release translated in English and German which can be read here. Some photos taken during the first day of the occupation can be seen here.

A report in English (and photos) about the protest in Zagreb is available at Javno.com.

On Tuesday, students from the University of Zadar decided to occupy their University also. They too have stopped normal classes and exams, and are holding alternative educational program instead. They have joined their colleagues in Zagreb in protesting against the commercialisation of education and demanding free education for all, as well as greater involvement of students in the reforms of the educational system.

So far there is no definitive information whether similar actions will be taken at other universities in the country, but some students from other universities have expressed interest in organizing some sort of protest.

-----------------------------------------

Addition:

I (Mo) also received the information from an activist in Zadar, that things are going great so far and their protests are also being supported by some professors and the provost. Workshops on various issues (from democracy and neoliberalism to scholarships and anarchism).

A recent article on the protests in Croatian can be read here.

Some pictures can be accessed here.

 

Münster (Germany)

After a film screening ("Summer of resistance"; about the German student movement against tuition fees in 2006/07) students set up a camping site in front of the castle calling it "Protest Camp". Many interested people dropped by discussed various topics and prepared things for the upcoming national week of action in June (bildungsstreik2009.de; in German).

Source: Bildungsstreik-Muenster.de

 

~ 22/04/2009 ~

Tampere (Finland)

o c c u p a t i o n

"The university action group of Tampere, Finland, has occupied the university of Tampere for the night. This is the first time that this university has been occupied for decades. We are protesting the coming university law that will enact the Bologna Process in Finnish universities, as well as the current policies of our university - the space of universities does not belong to us, it belongs to the corporations, and we wish to change that.

Solidarity to student movements all across Europe and the world, especially our comrades occupying the university in Zagreb!"

Source: E-Mail

 

Copenhagen (Denmark)

o c c u p a t i o n   +   " g l o b a l   f l a s h m o b "

"The students have succesfully occupied the central administration of Copenhagen University!! Furthermore we did the flashmob with extraordinary energi :-) [with 200 students]!!! and we are now in the process of putting it together! what about the rest of the flashmobs??? any update??

We used the flashmob as a means to enter the administration buildings, with massive press representation!!!!! We are currently in most of the big newspapers, and have launched our own portal.

From where we publish the newest initiatives and our concrete propositions for a new university reform! I will post link for both relevant media and for our own portal soon!!

Unite worldwide!

RyE-denmark"

 

- UPDATE -

"Regarding our occupation of the Copenhagen University, we have recieved massive media-coverage. We are working on extensive documentation, but for now we have uploaded some picture + a short description on archive.org. The info can be found searching for: University of Copenhagen - Occupied! or directly at: http://www.archive.org/details/UniversityOfCopenhagen-Occupied Furthermore we post some links for the different media, including our own: Hippocampus - the independent university magazine from University of Roskilde. Here we are currently publishing the newest activities concerning the occupation! Allthough it's all in danish - it'll hopefully give you an idea of how we work to document the happenings! Some of it will be translated om english! :-)! Good Luck!

Unite Worldwide -RyE-Denmark

Hippocampus

Modkraft.dk: A leftwing net-magazine

Politiken (I + II): The biggest Daily newspaper in Denmark!

Thats it for now!

We have also uploaded some pictures on Flickr."

 

"CU (Copenhagen University) liberated"

Source: Entries by GYLDENKERNE85 (I + II)

 

Vermont (U.S. of A.)

S i t - i n   +   a r r e s t s

"In a bold, last ditch attempt to halt these budget cuts and layoffs at the University of Vermont (UVM) once and for all members of Students Stand Up! occupied the president's wing of the Waterman Building and sat-in in the hallway outside of it. Negotiations were started with the administration, but Fogel (the university's president) abruptly left before the negotiations even had a chance to start saying that they would not agree to any of it. Those students sitting in the president's wing were than promptly arrested on their own campus. Now those 100+ students, staff and faculty who have stayed occupied the hallways of Waterman have been told that if they don't leave their administration building by 10pm they will be arrested.

Up next: RALLY IN FRONT OF THE WATERMAN BUILDING AT 9:30PM TONIGHT IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE NON-VIOLENT PROTESTERS!!!"

Regular updates can be accessed here.

Source: facebook + video

 

- 2nd report -

S i t - i n + a r r e s t s

33 UVM students were arrested in the President's Wing of the Waterman building protesting budget cuts, layoffs, tuition hikes, administrative mismanagement, and rising student to teacher ratios. This protest came on the heels of many actions against the cuts including a walk-out last week that gathered as many as 2000 students, faculty, and staff. Seven students locked down at 3:00pm in the President's Suite out side of his office and requested negations on the 13 demands issued prior to last week's walk-out. President Daniel Fogel spoke to the occupiers for around 20 minutes, at which point the students wished to discuss amongst themselves on how to proceed. During this time, Fogel scurried away to a dinner party--But not before ordering those locked down to be arrested. Meanwhile, between 70 to 100 protesters had gathered in the hall outside the President's Suite prepared to sit in for as long as the administration refused negotiations. They effectively rejected all demands and began to arrest the student occupiers; but at this time the police covered the large window leading into the hallway with sheets and UPS packages in order to prevent those sitting in solidarity from witnessing and documenting the arrests.(We managed to find a hole in the sheets to capture the moment though!) After being cited and released on the spot, they rejoined the some 100 people sitting on the other side of the doors where they were greeted with massive applause. The sit-inners decided unanimously to occupy the halls overnight and risk arrest. But before this could happen we wanted to recruit the entire campus community to come and become an immovable occupying force before the 10pm trespassing deadline. Sadly, when some of us returned from gathering hundreds of students, the President had ordered the building closed for the night and police were posted at every door, refusing anyone entrance. "President's orders." 27 students locked inside were willing to risk arrest and the others prepared to leave when the police came to deliver the ultimatum. They tried to wait us out but close to 400 people had converged outside the doors of the building rallying and chanting as news crews broadcasted live. The officers proceeded to arrest 27 people linking arms and even dragged one of the previous occupiers back into the arrest zone where he was cited for a second time. He was attempting to leave with the non-arrestable supporters. All except the unfortunate fellow mentioned above were processed and released to cheering crowds at 11:30 that night. The student who was wrongfully arrested was taken to jail where he was released at 2:30am on $250 bail. All of the arrestees were cited for criminal trespassing and banned from the building (which also houses classes) for 30 days amidst review sessions and finals. We also now have security guards posted at every entrance. Although the action didn't go as planned, we showed a massive display of impromptu force and numbers as well as garnering many folks outside who would have been comfortable risking arrest had they joined their friends in time. The administration's decision to arrest 33 of our peers is cowardly and offensive and highlights the incompetence of our University's leader. Therefore we have issued a press release to local media officially calling for Fogel's resignation. The faculty union, United Academics (UA), has joined us in that call as well as demanding that all charges be dropped. There is a Student Gov't meeting on Tuesday where we expect a vote of no confidence in the president to be passed and are encouraging the Faculty Senate to do the same. We are hesitant to plan another direct action during finals that could involve more police confrontation but we are trying to spread the news of this absurdity as widely as possible as well as stand in solidarity with those participating in the Global Week of Action Against the Commercialization of Education. That being said, we thought this may be of interest to SDSers and the national student community in general. Any show of support would be greatly appreciated and we hope to be another catalyst for the campus movement that is brewing overseas and at home. We will continue to call for Fogel's resignation along with our revised and refined list of demands. They are: 1. The immediate resignation of president Fogel. 2. The reversal of proposed layoffs and non-reappointments. 3. Make a substantial reduction in the administrative salary pool to save as many jobs as possible. 3. Create a democratic decision-making process whereby students, staff andfaculty play a decisive role in the selection of a new president and the negotiations of future budget decisions. We move our presence tomorrow to admitted students day where we will eat a protest oatmeal breakfast outside of the welcoming assembly and hand out literature on the budget cuts to future UVMers and their parents. What will come after that, we aren't quite sure, but with any luck it will involve the resignation of Fogel and the restoration of teachers and academic programs that make this school the fine institution that it is.

Website: uvmssft.blogspot.com

More details: vtflatlander.blogspot.com

Facebook: I + II

 

New York (U.S. of A.)

Dozens of students protest against tuition hikes at New York University (NYU).

 

Source: facebook + pictures


Marburg (Germany)

" g l o b a l   f l a s h m o b "

We also had our "global flashmob" today. Considering that nobody inside our group ever joined a flashmob, not to mention organized one, I believe it went pretty well :P
All together maybe 50 people participated.

(pictures and clips are coming up)

After the flashmob an open meeting was arranged where activists and "newcomers" chatted about the education system and how it is being effected by the commercialization process (Bologna process).

Source: Eye-witness ;)

 

Oldenburg (Germany)

" g l o b a l   f l a s h m o b "

"In Oldenburg about 100 pupils joined the Global Flashmob! All went well (somehow it did, dont ask how=P), we had a lot of media coverage. Pictures and films really look impressive!

But as the provincial media seems to work with both eyes closed, the broader backround of the action and the global movement was simply ignored in the newspaper article( like so often)...

Greetings of solidarity to all activist world-wide!!

Oldenburg, Germany"

Source: Entry by KOSAKE

 

Heidelberg (Germany)

" g l o b a l   f l a s h m o b "

At least 100 students joined the "global flashmob".

 

Zadar (Croatia)

o c c u p a t i o n (update)

"There was a meeting today where we agreed to continue our occupation. Our minister of education still hasn't spoken to the press. Other cities like Rijeka and Split are also planning to start a occupation and we're all hoping that they will succeed."

Source: facebook

 

Lewisham (UK)

(not co-ordinated as part of the GWA)

o c c u p a t i o n

"At about 7am parents struggled past security to occupy the roof of Lewisham Bridge Primary School in protest at Lewisham Council's absurd decision to decant all the children and pupils 1.5 miles away. They are still on the roof, despite an enormous police presence. As I understand it, Lewisham Council has effectively been thwarted in its attempts to knock down the primary school that has been at the heart of the community for decades, after the school building recently received a Grade II listing. But this has not stopped the council going ahead with a plan that has made parents extremely angry.
In preparation for the move to another building, children have already been forced to take a four week Easter break, rather than the usual two. As you can imagine, this places an enormous extra burden on the shoulders of working families who are forced to pay childcare for the extra two weeks.

If you're in the Lewisham area, come and show solidarity with the occupiers! If you can't do that, please join the facebook group "Hands Off Lewisham Bridge Primary School" and invite your friends."

Source: E-Mail

 

Wroclaw (Poland)

"This year Wroclaw (POLAND) took part in the Globar Week of Action for emancipating education.

We set up two info points we called “Cities for Critical Education” – one on the campus of the Faculty of Social Sciences and the other on the Market Square, the very centre of the city. Some of us dressed up as restless butchers who shiv education and some in mourning, dressed all in black for the funeral we handed out lots of leaflets presenting our postulates and talked with people that passed by our booths.

We were also agitating to sign up petition letters to the authorities of the University of Wroclaw and Technical University. Most important issues we highlighted were:

  • very low public expenditures for education (0,3% GDP !!!);
  • difficult social situation of students: high maintenance costs, lack of dormitories;
  • unsatisfying work conditions and wages of the university employees, academics as well as librarians, technical and administrative staff;
  • abolition of any kinds of fees and charges at the university (neither for studies, nor for administrative operations);
  • independence of universities from state’s policy and economical pressures.

Moreover, in May we plan to invite professors and other scholars to discuss current situation and possible ways of avoiding the dangerous consequences of performed policy.

More details to come!"

Source: Entry by edukacjaemancypacyjna + odzyskajedukacje.wordpress.com (in Polish)

 

Gdańsk (Poland)

"On Wednesday a debate took place at University of Gdańsk (Social Science Department). The debate was dedicated to the government's reform plan for the higher education system. People concerned about the future of education in Poland were discussing alarming trends presented in the document (commodification of knowledge, eliminating autonomy of the university etc.). The participants decided to take a stand on the reform plan during community consultations with prof. Barbara Kudrycka - Minister of Science and Higher Education (Thursday, 23.04.2009)."

More

Source: Entry by RUD

 

[town unknown] (Catalunya; Spain)

o c c u p a t i o n

The Menéndez y Pelayo college was occupied on the night of the 22nd April by dozens of students.

 

Source: interuni-bcn.blogspot.com

 

~ 23/04/2009 ~

Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Osijek and Split (Croatia)

o c c u p a t i o n s  + updates

Zagreb: The Faculty of Arts joined the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Law, while others are organized and are taking steps towards the blockade and further faculties

Zadar: 3 University buildings are blocked by students, yesterday's meeting was attended by 1000 students

Rijeka: 3 University buildings are blocked by students

Osijek: students are protesting and planning to take over the University during the day

Split: Decides tonight for further action

Source: Email

 

- 2nd Update -

The students are continuing to occupy the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (in Zagreb), demanding free education for all. On Wednesday (22/04), the Faculty Council decided to support their demands and their occupation, and has cancelled classes for the rest of the week. The Council has joined the students in demanding from the goverment the elimination of all tuition fees. The students continue with their own alternative education programme, which consists of lectures, public discussions, film screenings and workshops and which are open to everyone, not just the students. Every evening they hold plenary sessions which every one can attend. At those plenary sessions they discuss and vote on what further actions they will take and whether they will continue with the occupation the next day. A number of students sleep at the Faculty every night. Some photos can be seen here.

At the same time, students in Zadar are also continuing with the occupation of their University. They too hold lectures, public discussions and film screenings instead of normal classes. Some students spent the night at the university last night. Unlike their colleagues in Zagreb, who got the official support of their professors on the third day of the occupation, professors at the University of Zadar expressed support to their students on the very first day of the occupation which started on Tuesday (21/04/2009) at noon. The University in Zadar is not as fragmented (situated in too many different buildings) as the universities in other cities, which has resulted in the fact that by today the students have managed to occupy the whole of the University. At the plenary session tonight, they'll decide on furhter actions. Events at the University of Zadar are documented here (in Croatian).

On Wednesday afternoon, students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka protested, and in the evening held a plenary session at which they decided to start occupy their faculty. Today, on Thursday, the three buildings of the Faculty are occupied and instead of normal classes, students have organized alternative lectures, film screenings and workshops. Dean of the Faculty has said that he fully supports the students in their activities, and has offered them the use of all faculty services. Web page for students in Rijeka (in Croatian). Students of the Academy of Fine Arts have also occupied their faculty. (I have no detailed info on this at the moment).
On Thursday afternoon, students at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb held a plenary session and voted to join in the student protests in Croatia by occupying their faculty. They have started the occupation this afternoon, and this evening will hold another plenary session at which they will discuss and vote on what further actions they will take.
The students also took over the Student Radio, located at the premises of the Faculty of Political Sciences, which they will use to promote their demands.
Students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Osijek also decided today to occupy their faculty. They will hold a plenary session in the evening and decide on precise actions.
In Split, the students are divided: some want to hold a protest, others want to organize the occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. They will probably decide this evening on further action.
Some students of the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, plan to hold a protest march tomorrow afternoon at 5pm, walking from their faculty building to the building of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, where they will attend the plenary session in the evening.
 

 
Source: E-Mail

 

Hamburg (Germany)

o c c u p a t i o n

"In the University of Hamburg Students of the faculty of pedagogics have occupied the wing of administration of the main-building and blocked the way to the presidential office. The president, who is not only critisized for the cutting of funds for pedagogic by 11% but also for selling universitarian knowledge to weapon-manufacturers (therefore she is called rocket-moni), is rejecting every attempt to negotiate, yet called the cops which are now also inside the building. Till now the cops are trying to get people out through dialoging but the protestors made clear that they will stay at least till the demonstration tomorow.

Greetings in solidarity to all comrades,

the struggle continues!"

 

- Update (a few hours later) -

"The occupation in hamburg ended quickly after the president tried to escape: the president ran through the university-entrance-hall with the help of police officers - but the students followed her. she went inside an hotel, where police tried to stop the students by blocking the entrance. the students overthrow the police by number and broke through the police-line. the president ran outside, getting a cab/taxi and tried to escape with that. but students were faster and blocked the taxi. after a while the police was succesfull in getting the people away from the taxi and the president escaped. no arrests so far, but some id-checks.

A spontaneous demonstration was held with more than 150 people, going around the campus without much happening. in the afternoon everyone went to the festival on the campus by the autonomous "cafe knallhart", listened to good music and some capoeira-show."

Source: Entry by STEFFIESTREIK (I + II)

 

Münster (Germany)

As part of the protest camp in front of the castle students arranged workshops discussing basic questions like "What is education?" and focussing on topics such as "social selection by the education system".

There is also a soup kitchen and the camp will go into its third day in a row.

Source: bildungsstreik-muenster.de (in German)

 

Trondheim (Norway)

Activists distributed flyers and hanged up banners on the two major campuses.

Source: E-Mail

 

Jyväskylä (Finland)

Various smaller actions on campus, such as banner displays, soup kitchen and information booth with music.

Source: E-Mail

 

Lewisham (UK)

(not co-ordinated as part of the GWA)

o c c u p a t i o n (update)

"Today, in an important display of solidarity, 6 Visteon workers joined the parents on the roof of the primary school. The protest has even appeared in the national media!

news.bbc.co.uk

At a successful meeting held at 3pm this afternoon, a group called Hands Off Lewisham Bridge was formed. Another planning meeting will be held outside Lewisham Bridge Primary School on Monday at 3pm.

Protesters will be staying on the roof until their demands are met."

Source: Facebook

 

[town unknown] (Catalunya; Spain)

o c c u p a t i o n (update)

The occupation at the Menéndez y Pelayo college was evicted at around 9pm. The students still resisted for an hour but later left after threats of expulsion. The police beat the students inside, partially protected by nightfall, as passers-by heckled at the repressive forces to stop. Between 20 and 30 students were evicted.

Source: interuni-bcn.blogspot.com

 

Gdańsk (Poland)

On Thursday, the 23rd, the Polish Minister of Higher Education visited the University of Gdańsk to talk about the new plan for higher education reform, which will make universities more dependent on the business life and instead of making scholarships bigger, will make credits more available to students. During the meeting students and PhD researchers demonstrated against the reform and unfurled two banners - "odZYSKaj Edukację" ("Reclaim Education", literally also: make it "off-PROFIT", Zysk=PROFIT) and "Wiedza nie jest towarem" ("Knowledge is not a commodity"). At the end of the meeting they gave the minister a T-shirt with the logo of "Reclaim your education" at one side and a question at the other: "How much are Social Sciences worth?".

On the same day at the Faculty of Social Sciences, where the meeting was taking place, fake surveillance cameras were installed in toilets. The goal of this action was to draw attention to the issue of more and more surveillance cameras inside university buildings and the rules of the security guards which say, that they should especially focus on people weirdly dressed. Installations were removed by the security guards after two days and the perpetrators were spotted and threatened with police and trials... ;)

camera  camera2

More details here

Source: Entry by RUD

Poznań (Poland)

At the University of Adam Mickiewicz there was a direct action against the commercialisation of university space. Vending machines with pseudo-food owned by private corporations were covered with statements about the condition of the university.

Source: Entry by RUD

 

~ 24/04/2009 ~

Jyväskylä (Finland)

"In Jyväskylä the Common University network promoted the Reclaim Your Action week with several intense seminars and demonstrations during the week. Both local and international students discussed and compared educational policies in a few countries, and protested against local maladies at the University of Jyväskylä. The main event held on thursday the 23rd gathered a lot of people together. Students distributed free education and shared everyone free food and drink while dj's played music. The struggle continues!
 
In Solidarity,

A.-M."

Source: E-Mail

 

Allentown, PA (U.S. of A.)

r a l l y

Muhlenberg College SDS in Allentown, PA had a rally at the steps of their administration building today and got the President of the College to pinky swear to deliver their three demands to the trustees who are meeting.

Website: muhlenbergsds.blogspot.com

 

Copenhagen (Denmark)

o c c u p a t i o n  (update)

"The Danish students of Reclaim Your Education ended the three day of occupation by directing 10 concrete demands for reforming the university. What is more, we instituted a Goat as a replacement for the recent Principal. The goat's name was Asger, and we considered him a serious candidate, since he directed a lot attention to the different students' interest and also didn't seem to protest at all to the new demands!

Pictures of the newly instituted principal can be seen here:

hippocampus.ruc.dk (scroll down the page to see the pics)

Thursday night we had an update on the different action at the international level, and everyone was quite excited about the extent and seriousness the different activities under the banner of "global week of action has had on the different student movements around the Globe. Also a representative from the University staff's Union dropped by to support the action, and to underline the backup from a great deal of the CU-staff!
Furthermore we received Solidarity declarations from the students from London which was read out loud, cementing the international consciousness!!
Friday was used to summarize the activities of the past 3 days, and was also use to prepare the students for the coming trip to Belgium!

In solidarity with all the courageous and visionary student movements across the world!

UNITE - WORLDWIDE RyE-Denmark"

Source: Entry by GYLDENKERNE85


Vienna, Oberösterreich, Salzburg, Linz and more (Austria)

d e m o n s t r a t i o n s

For the second time this week pupils across Austria protested against planned budget cuts and the reduction of off-days. Up to 60,000 people joined the strike and took to the streets.

At least 25,000 students protested in Vienna alone, 20,000 were counted in Oberösterreich, 12,000 in Linz, 6,000 in Salzburg and 3,000 in Dornbirn. Some windows at the ministry of education were smashed.

Source: derstandard.at (in German; video clips) + schulstreik.at

 

Hamburg (Germany)

d e m o n s t r a t i o n

At least 600 students protested against budget cuts and for free education in the city centre of Hamburg.

Source: uni-hamburg.de

 

Barcelona (Catalunya; Spain)

o c c u p a t i o n


The Ramon Berenguer IV college was occupied at midday by around 30 students planning to hold a series of activities in the liberated space. The police was called almost immediately and a rally was held outside the building with students, parents and members of the community. Those inside decided to continue with their planned events. An eviction process started but was halted at 1am on Saturday morning following an agreement made between the headteacher and the students, who left at 6pm on Saturday. It's notable that throughout the occupation, the students were met with the support and solidarity of community members, to the extent that they woke up on Saturday morning to hot chocolate and biscuits brought to them by neighbours.
As well as fighting against the implementation of the Bologna Process, colleges are fighting against the new LEC (Catalan Education Law) and LOE (Organic Education Law). These laws will detract from schools' autonomy (obliging them to source funds from businesses), discriminate against immigrant students, give the head-teacher (now chosen by an administrative body) new powers and create an external ranking agency which will value – rather than the acquirement of knowledge – foreign language capacity, IT skills and student behaviour as a basis for funding. This funding system will harm schools in poorer areas creating an educational divide between the rich and the poor. These reforms are clear examples of social control tactics used to keep the poor “in their place”.

Source: interuni-bcn.blogspot.com

 

Brussels (Belgium)

o c c u p a t i o n

Students from across Europe (at least 8 countries: Italy, France, Germany, Catalunya/Spain, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark) arrived today in Brussels to attend the "counter-summit" and protests against the Ministerial Bologna Conference.
Since the hundreds of students (~ 200) prefered to stay together under one roof, they decided to occupy a building of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

 

Gdańsk (Poland)

At the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Gdańsk there was a debate about the new fence around the campus. Both academics and activists, who fight with harmful investments and working conditions, took part.

On the same day a new issue of !reVOLT magazine was published. The issue deals with the problem of the quality of studies, commercialisation of education and harmful changes in the educational spaces. The magazine has also published a call to actions during the GWA.

cover poster

More details here

Source: Entry by RUD


~ 25/04/2009 ~

Potsdam (Germany)
 
"We organized a flashmob in Potsdam central station. (Potsdam is near Berlin.)
We laid down like deadbodies of hunger, because of the insufficient funds for education in Germany.
We called the protest "Bildungsleichen-Aktion" - which means "dead education" or "educational corpse"."
 
 

Source: E-Mail

Frankfurt/M (Germany)

The New Democratic Youth (NDY) had a booth in the city centre (die Zeil, the busiest shopping mile in town) during the day informing about the Global Week of Action and distributing hundreds of leaflets.
During the following day (26/04) the same group also distributed hundreds of flyers on the campus of the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/M.

Source: E-Mail

 

Perth (Australia)

r a l l i e s

""Students Without Borders" working with "ReclaimYourEducaton" ran rallies in the city parks, of the Esplanade and Hyde Park, on April 20, 24 and 25. The students and citizens we attracted averaged about 50 to each one. For us, that was a good start, though quite poor and indicative of apathy when contrasted with efforts everywhere else. We spoke about education as notionally identity forming and its commercialisation in terms of a corporate world's hierarchical needs needs to be addressed or that we shall continue to devolve into automatons. We hope that they all will become members of SWB and RYE and get involved in the campaigns to address the pervasive endemic problems."

Source: E-Mail

 

~ 26/04/2009 ~

Dhaka (Bangladesh)

r a l l y

A rally, called for by the Bangladesh Student Union (BSU), was held and a letter sent to the ministery of education demanding a uniform secular massoriented and scientific education policy. It was attended by close to 600 people.
Students also raised their voices against the increasing commercialization of education during that day.

Source: facebook

 

~ 27/04/2009 ~

Brussels (Belgium)

p u b l i c   p e r f o r m a n c e

As part of the protests against the Ministerial Bologna Conference close to 100 of the students gathering for the "counter-summit" in Brussels protested in the city center against the commercialization of education by staging a "theatre performance".
Shortly after leaving the campus the group found itself confronted by dozens of well equiped police forces. Nevertheless they managed to do their performances three times and to distribute lots of flyers.
Later on the crowd was pushed inside the metro. Activists didn't bother and informed all the passangers about the importance of free and emancipatory public education.
After getting off at a few stations and changing trains a few times riot police forced the students to take the train to the campus straight away.
No arrests were made.


Video
/picture material will be available soon.

Source: Eye-witness

 

Zagreb (Croatia)

P r e s s   R e l e a s e

"Although the suspension of classes on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, voted for by the Faculty board on April the 22nd (which merely formally confirmed the status quo at the Faculty), expired on April the 26th, the formal blockade continues until the authorities issue further statements. Upon his return from Brasil, dean Jurkovic called a meeting of the Board of Heads of Departments which took place today at 2 o`clock, without the presence of student representatives. Any decisions altering the faculty administration’s position on the blockade will be discussed and commented on by the plenum.
After a short period of calm, the Croatian media (primarily the printed media) began with a new wave of defamatory articles which we will no longer address individually. These articles merely repeat the many times refuted pseudo-arguments and platitudes. The only new element in the media representation of the student initiative is the heinous and socially inappropriate cynicism of popular columnists. This cynicism, coming from an allegedly neutral, but actually patronizing position, tries to portray the students as a frivolous, drunken, inarticulate mass which is merely staging a juvenile show inspired by a tradition of student rebellion. These columnists show a complete lack of political literacy and basic social sensibility for questions of fundamental public interest.
The students appreciate the support coming, in various forms, from all segments of Croatian society. We are, of course, referring to the support which, unlike the one coming the authorities, is not merely nominal and dictated by petty, short-term political interests. This list of legal and physical entities which have expressed support for the initiative, as well as the student declarations and all related materials are available on the www.slobodnifilozofski.bloger.hr blog. The schedule of the alternative educational programs is also available on the blog. Free preparation courses for entrance exams are also starting this week.
We welcome and support the initiative of our colleagues from the universities of Rijeka, Zadar, Osijek and Split, especially the faculties that have only recently joined the blockade. You are welcome to visit us at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; our doors are open to everyone."

Source: SlobodniFilozofski.org

 

~ 28/04/2009 ~

Leuven and Brussels (Belgium)

d e m o n s t r a t i o n s

Up to 600 students from across Europe (at least 8 countries: UK, France, Spain/Catalunya, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Italy) united in a demonstration against the "Ministerial Bologna Conference" and the commercialization of education in general.
It was held in great spirit and slogan were shouted in many different languages.
At one point the demonstration was attact by the police, arresting 10 people and injuring a few protesters.

Only one hour after the first demonstration ended (at 2pm) a second demonstration began in Brussels with up to 4,500 people.

More pictures and details still coming up.

Source: deredactie.be (in French; incl. video clip) + rtlinfo.be (in French) + video

 

Barcelona (Catalunya; Spain)

o c c u p a t i o n s  d e m o n s t r a t i o n

A demonstration was held to demand moratoriums in the subjects that will be affected by the Bologna Process in the next academic year. In preparation, students held a series of occupations in the city.
Among the occupied places was a bank and party offices.

The series of occupations took place in Barcelona with these demands:

1. Moratoriums in all the subjects that have been adapted to the EHEA in order to open up a debate process regarding the reforms.

2. The resignation of Josep Huguet, minister for Innovation, Universities and Business, because of his desire to privatise the university system.

3. Amnesty for all the students who have been expelled, disciplined, fined or charged.

The university students – supported by college students and mobilised unemployed people – occupied the headquarters of Banco Santander (the largest bank in Europe), the headquarters of ERC and PSC (Catalan Republican Left and Catalan Socialist Party, ruling parties in Catalonia) and the University Commission. These direct actions were in solidarity with everyone who is being exploited and ripped off by the government's new “bail-out” package for the banks, which will give even more money to the rich from the pockets of the poor.
The Santander occupation began at 11am, when a first group of 30 people entered the unsuspecting bank, shouting slogans such as: “Not banks, nor companies! Get out of our libraries!” and “Like this! Don't take one step back! Against Bologna: Direct action!”. Once inside, they hung a banner in the vestibule reading “You colonise our education; we occupy your headquarters”. The squatters then sat down and held a class with a lecturer who was present. The lecture was about how job precarity, enforced by the extreme capitalism we are currently suffering, turns the worker into a slave. The occupants invited the bank employees to sit and enjoy the lecture as well, but they were reluctant, probably because of their short-term contracts.
The class was followed by a group discussion and a second group arrived, taking over from those who had to go to work. A group also gathered outside the door to the building, hanging banners across the building and dealing with the media.
Inside posters were made from the bank's propaganda and the entire bank (including a show-car) was covered in the movement's stickers. One girl, dressed up as a corpse, laid down in front of the car with a sign declaring that the invasion of private interests into the higher education system kills the formation of critical thought. There was some excitement when a group of girls wanted to use the bank toilet but were stopped by security guards and cashiers, a group of people forced the door open and the squatters were able to use the toilets for the rest of their stay. This situation showed clearly that, although the banks and other capitalist institutions value money more than people, the power to challenge them is in our hands.

The bank closed at 2pm, and the occupiers were told by police officers that they were committing an offense by remaining. However, there was no eviction and the students decided to stay until the 6pm demonstration, at which point they left of their own accord.

Another group of students, together with some 20 transport workers, tried to occupy the PSC (Catalan Socialist Party, one of the ruling parties) headquarters at 12pm. They were stopped from entering by the building's defenses and the swift arrival of the police. Outside, manifestos were read by the workers and students, communicating their problems with the Catalan government. Later, the police tried to charge one student with breach of the peace, on the grounds that she was responsible for the action. In the face of this, those rallied outside the building started to pass around the megaphone, each person claiming that they were the one guilty of organising the activity and therefore preventing the charge. The event was ended after an hour as the transport workers had to go to work.
At the headquarters of the ERC (Catalan Republican Party, another of the ruling parties), a group managed to enter an inner courtyard and later, by fighting with the security guards, the front door. Once at the entrance, a group of five chained themselves to the building and the others circulated information about the action to the public. The students planned to continue this situation until the time came to join the demonstration, but were interrupted by a police eviction. Once outside the building, the thirty or so occupants made a mini-demonstration through Barcelona towards the other protesters, blocking roads with a banner as they went.
The demonstration was attended by 300 people. As usual, the police presence was totally out of proportion, 17 riot vans followed the march and 5 more were waiting by the road leading to the government buildings. At best, this was a pointless display of force, trying to intimidate a movement that has already shown that it cannot be stopped by repressive state brutality.
The protest ended outside the University Commission in the centre of the city. A group of students, who had chained themselves inside the building as part of an occupation, came out voluntarily to cheers from the crowd and a communiqué was read denouncing the privatisation process.

Source: interuni-bcn.blogspot.com + video

 

~ 29/04/2009 ~

Sheffield (UK)

Sheffield students targeted military recruiters and arms dealers at the University’s careers fair, demanding they have a say over who is allowed on campus. The stalls of QinetiQ, Rolls Royce, the Army and the Navy were all dismantled with protesters bagging up materials from the stalls and removing them from campus.
Activists from Sheffield university continued what is now a growing line of actions highlighting the university’s links to arms companies and military recruiters. The careers fairs held in university buildings are events run by private companies for a profit and often include employers such as the Army, Navy, Rolls Royce and Quinetiq. Rolls Royce is renowned for its arms deals providing billions of pounds of weapons to countries across the world every year. Students also protested about the military, including the Army and Navy, being allowed on campus. These institutions whilst advertising a nice safe job to graduates continues with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lures graduates in with promises of free further training which is in fact given in return for years of service. Rolls Royce is one of the top investors in the university, investing in research which ultimately is used in weapons manufacture, students attacking the company felt our students’ education and expertise should not be used for arms companies purely because they are willing to pile money into it! Students and staff should have a say in how money is spent and where funding comes from in this university instead of the university being run as a business in the interests of profit, especially when it comes to careers fairs selling our graduates on to employers such as Rolls Royce. The university has repeatedly refused to listen to the large body of students at staff who wish to end the university’s ties with the military and arms trade, and when students occupied in desperation to get the university to listen they were taken to court!

Source: indymedia.org.uk

 

Hildesheim (Germany)

After a successful general assembly at the University of Hildesheim with close to 800 students hundreds of them stormed the senat, which was having a meeting nearby, demanding more democratic structures at their institution.
Since they refused to leave the room the senat shifted its meeting to the auditorium and had to face the questions by the students and justify its stance.
The struggle continues.

Source: E-Mail

 

Leipzig (Germany)

d e m o n s t r a t i o n

Today the Federal Administrative Court decided on a complaint of students from the University of Paderborn. They took legal action against tuition fees as they claim that tuition fees are incompatible with the ICESCR (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). Inside the ICESCR it says that all states obligate themselves to guarantee the right to education and free access to higher education, especially through the abolishment of fees.

The protesters of the University of Leipzig helped to organize a demonstration in front of the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig in order to support the complaint. 

Unfortunately, the court dismissed the complaint with some quite disputable reasons.

Source: E-Mail


Belgrade (Serbia)

o c c u p a t i o n

A group of students gathered around a new radical student bulletin Studenti za studente (Students for Students) and website www.studentizastudente.net organized an initial protest against the increasment of tuition fees and the ongoing neoliberal reform of higher education. Their goal is to make education available to all members of society, in other words to make it free of charge.
The protest started at noon, in front of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. Some 100 students gathered in front of the banner ‘One world, one struggle. Education is NOT for sale’. Two students from independent initiatives gave short speeches on the struggles of collegues around the world, stressing the current struggle in Croatia, as well as information on the upcoming reforms within the education system. A student from Poland also gave a speech during which she compared the higher education system in Serbia to those existing in some European countries, stressing that the reforms in Serbia will destroy critical thinking and create a mass of servile and scared citizens.
After the protest they occupied the amphitheatre in the faculty building in order to make an open student meeting with some fifty collegues. This meeting was very successful and their initial group has now grown in numbers. Their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday next week when they’ll decide how to continue.
This was only a first step in creating a long-term campaign against the neoliberal reforms of higher education, but also in creating a wide network of activists who are willing to fight for what we see as a basic human right.

Free education – not free market!

Students for students!

Source: E-Mail

 

Louvain la Neuve (Belgium)

d e m o n s t r a t i o n

More than 300 students protested near-by the summit of the "Bologna Ministerial Conference".
This was the final protest of a series of demonstrations by students from across Europe to resist the Bologna process and the commercialization of education.

Source: rtbf.be (in French) + actu24.be (in French) + archives.lesoirs.be (in French) + rtlinfo.be (in French; video clips)

 

Casablanca (Morocco)

A group called "Club de Conscience Estudiantine" initiated and planned a whole week of programme for the Global Week of Action, which ended today.
It included film screenings, public discussions, as well as exhibitions.

Source: conscience-estudiantine.blogspot.com (in French)

 

Barcelona (Catalunya; Spain)

d e m o n s t r a t i o n  o c c u p a t i o n

Following a demonstration through the city, students took direct action against the education ministry. At 2pm a group of college students entered the government building, passing by the security measures in the entrance. They arrived at the 5th floor, home of the of the education minister, Ernest Maragall, and demanded to see him, but he was unavailable for comment. They then hung a banner reading “Colleges against mercantilisation and for the public”.
At 3pm some students tried to enter with food for their companions. Upon being denied entrance they linked up and ran at the line of police, trying to force their way in. The police response was to charge, beating the students with truncheons. At 3.45pm a group of riot police arrived at the scene to proceed with an eviction. Once the riot police were in the building, the press were not allowed to enter (this is common practice in evictions and ensures police impunity for the torture that often occurs inside and off camera). The students were identified and taken outside, to be met with cheers from the assembled crowd.
The action took place at the same time that unionised teachers from all over the Catalan territories rallied outside council buildings and the education consortium.

Source: interuni-bcn.blogspot.com

 

Gdańsk (Poland)

During the GWA OKUPÉ activists (Open Commitee for Liberation of the Educational Space)from the University of Gdańsk have managed to gather many hundreds of signatures under the petition for radical changes at the University library. The goal is to make it a user-friendly place, for example by reducing the police-like controls and by making it not necessary to have money at the entrance. Students, PhD researchers and academics have also taken several interventions asking police to leave from the campus. They were ensured by the head of the university that all the old agreements with police, allowing them to enter the campus, will be cancelled.

More details here

Source: Entry by RUD

 

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

 

"University of Buenos Aires, Engineering School


On april 23rd there was an informative talk in the building entrance hall about the reforms in education: which they are, what political groups pursue them, how do they lobby and what would they lead us to.


The next week, activity took place on april 29th and 30th. It was focused on raising awareness on the school's community about the consequences that would imply the reforms on our curricula that the Board of Regents is trying to carry out, according to the directives set by the government accreditation body known as CONEAU.


As if it was a fast-food restaurant, the stand named "McFiuba" and set in the main hall of the building with the motto "Selling Public Education... I'm loving it!", showed what higher education may become quite soon: education ceasing to be a right to become a commodity.

Cheap university degrees were "served" (and sold) so that students should take graduate studies (mostly very expensive, while undergraduate education in Argentina is still free). "University Dollars" bills were handed out to the
students, who could claim in the stand their "Devalued Engineer" degree diplomas, sponsored by multinational corporations if they "bought" them with the bills.


A large flag claiming "FOR SALE by CONEAU Co." was hang in the building entrance, making clear the real aim behind the reforms: getting cheap manpower from the students and teachers, labs and research services as commodities for private companies to do bussiness instead of science; a real bargain! It was soon removed by the School's staff and we were threatened and asked for explanations by the Dean.


The day after, a couple of actors performing the mime of an auction, where the auctioneer offered the lady (posing as "Miss UBA") to the highest bidder, in a way to show the unethical manners the authorities do not hesitate to recourse (for example, the last curricula reforms were approved in a café to avoid students' demonstrations). The play was performed in the main hall, different classrooms and in the library."



 

Source: E-Mail; more pictures


Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Pula, Varaždin and Slavonski Brod (Croatia)

o c c u p a t i o n s


Around 20 faculties (including 2 whole universities) are under occupation in 8 Croatian cities (Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Pula, Varaždin and Slavonski Brod) for 9 days now. The protesters demand "free education for all". The protests got great media coverage. Around 35,000 signatures have been collected supporting the action. Many professors, some faculties and all the trade unions support the means and the aim of the action.

Chronology of press releases are available in German, English, Danish (only 1st press release), Czech (only 1st press release), French (3 press releases), Italian (2 press releases), Slovenian, Spanish (3 press releases), Swedish (only 1 press release)

Chronology of news is available in English.

An overview of documents in various languages can be accessed here.

On the banner above it says:
"One World One Struggle - Education is not for sale"

---------------------

 

"I have learned of the struggle of Croatian students to ensure that free education will be available to all. It is a worthy goal for every society — including my own, where such rights are not honored — and I would like to wish them success in their efforts."

~ Noam Chomsky

Comments

deleting...

hi mo. again the "delete comment" button is vanished. i tried to delete an old comment (it was about an upload problem, not really important) and the button is gone again. as soon as you find the time for it incidantly...

ps short report shown up about bildungsstreik at http://wikinews030.wordpress.com/2009/05/30/bildungsstreik-2009/