@ReclaimEducation

The education systems around the world have become oppressive and manipulative. Young People are funneled through factory like schools that train them to be another gear in the neo-liberal capitalism industry.

Enough! It is time for students of the world to realize that our struggles are connected and for us to unify in resistance and reclaim our education. Let us work together to create a better system of learning that helps the young mind expand in its natural creativity.

The Global Education Strike is the first step in creating a unified force of young people around the world. The future and the power is in our hands, let this Hub be a place for collaboration, skill sharing and information swapping focused on the creation of a Global Education Strike in October.

http://www.emancipating-education-for-all.org/ | reclaimeducation@interoccupy.net

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[accordion_panel title=”March 26: Students Occupy Space at Bucharest University and Babeș-Bolyai University”]

Posted March 26th, 2013 by Mo • permalink

~ italiano ~

March 26th:
Students Occupy Space at Bucharest University and Babeș-Bolyai University

In the evening of March 26 students began to occupy the History Faculty of Bucharest University as well as an amphitheatre at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (both in Romania) indefinately. With this action they aim to create an open space for everyone to discuss, reflection and to articulate common interests. Issues like precariousness/poverty, the Bologna Process, university autonomy, as well as economic and social conditions of both students and teachers and others are not discussed inside universities. That’s what the occupiers will be addressing and debating freely and without restrictions. Anyone interested is welcome to propose other interesting subjects to be discussed.

It’s an act against the increasing commercialisation of education; an act of resistance against universities being factories producing human capital for the labour market, while at the same time students are turned into customers.

The following press release was published by the students involved in the occupation at Babeș-Bolyai University:

Press release

For immediate distribution

26th of March, 2013

Reclaim your University!

Cluj Napoca, Romania. Today, 26th of March, 2013, at 4 pm, one of the amphitheaters of the central headquartes of Babes Bolyai University from Cluj Napoca, has been indefinifelty occupied as a sit-in, by students.

The University is transforming, more and more, into an over guarded institution. The space that should have encourage the free movement of ideas and that should have been a debate forum, became, with every year, a closed space, petrified by practices that no longer reflect the students’ true problems and needs. Instead of being a life learning experience, the University makes us dependent of a dysfunctional economic and social system: university education is a merchandise, nicely packed and served to clients (also called „students”) whose only social value, after graduation, is that of potentially employees. But the most severe problem is that the students are not encourage, through a participatory system, to make their voices heard.

Therefore, we consider that the reclaim of an autonomous space inside the University is necessary – a space where our voices can be articulated, in a free debate, open to all students. We are all responsable for the creation of a collective future, in which everyone’s aspirations compose an university project, designed to cultivate involved and critical citizens, not just diploma owners.

Because we regard University as a common and not as a socially isolated institution, everyone’s involvement is both necessary and welcomed – involvement of students, teachers, university auxiliary staff, high school students, graduates and anyone interested. Being a non-exclusive debate, any form of discrimination is against the very reasons that made this debate necessary.

The University belongs to everyone!

This is a students sit-in. It will not end until we, together, come to a conclusion regarding our real problems and the possible solutions for them. From this moment on, your opinion matters, as long as you are here!

The first plenary will take place TODAY, 26 March 2013, starting with 6.30pm, in the Iorga amphitheater, first floor, main building of the Babes Bolyai University.

sources: sepoate.net (student activists’ website) + multiversitate.ro + blog.activewatch.ro + casajurnalistului.ro
facebook:
SE POATE Cluj (Babes Bolyai University) + Baricada Universitară

at Babes Bolyai University:

at Bucharest University:


We are the university!

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[accordion_panel title=”Manila, March 18-22: Week of ‘Black Protest’ after Student Suicide triggered by inability to pay for Tuition Fees”]

Posted March 21st, 2013 by Mo • permalink

Manila, March 18-22nd:
Week of ‘Black Protest’ after Student Suicide triggered by inability to Pay for Tuition Fees

A week of ‘Black Protest’ at public and private colleges and universities across the Philippines takes place between March 18 and 22. It commemorates the death of Kristel Tejada who committed suicide, because she couldn’t pay for tuition fees in time. The ‘Black Protest’ is marked by walk-outs and is also directed against another possible increase in tuition fees.

“Education is a right and it shouldn’t be sold,” said Mariz Zubiri, chair of the student council of UP branch in Manila, as hundreds of students rushed to UP (University of the Philippines) Manila to begin protest rallies. Police deployed a so-called security forces on campus.

“This is a call on all students to stand up and strike for education and justice,” said Zubiri at the start of a protest of rallies for Kristel Tejada, a Behavioral Sciences student who died after drinking silver cleaner.
The suicide of Kristel, 16, the eldest of five children of a taxi driver and a housewife, came after she filed a leave of absence in the middle of the second semester for failure to pay tuition of around P10,000 (~ €190/ US$245).

Tejada lost her life after being brought to Manila’s Philippine General Hospital on Friday, March 15.

Her story went viral on the internet over the weekend.

Protesters created a sea of black ribbons all over the campus. They also wore black ribbons on their right arms.
Students created black handprints on a piece of white cloth in solidarity with her mourning family.

Militant groups joined the protesting students.

Students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) held solidarity protests over the death of Tejada and the reported tuition increase in their school.

“We fear that if tuition and other fees increase in PUP, we will face the same fate as the UP Iskolar ng Bayan*. We must protest the fee hikes,” said PUP student regent Helen Alfonso.

At the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Manila students kicked off the week with a walk-out and burnt chairs as well as tables in the courtyard on campus.

History repeats itself – just 3 years before (2010), there was a tuition fee increase that was stopped by the burning of wooden chairs that took place in the exact same place, at PUP, Mabini campus.

“Kristel’s death has galvanized the students to act and express their growing discontent to our current education system. The spark ignited by her untimely demise has rekindled the fire of dissent in thousands of students both in public and private universities. Together, let us fight to scrap unjust tuition policies and demand justice for Kristel and for all,” Terry Ridon, president of Kabataan Partylist.

* Students of the university and its graduates are generally referred to as “[Mga] Iskolar ng Bayan

sources: gulfnews.comnewsinfo.inquirer.netbubblews.comkabataanpartylist.comanakbayan.org

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[accordion_panel title=”Morocco, Feb.24: Rage over killing of Student & Police on Campus”]

Posted March 2nd, 2013 by Mo • permalink

Morocco, February 24th:
Day of Action to Commemorate the Killing of Mohamed Fizazi and Protest Police presence on Campus

In various cities across Morocco students came together to commemorate the killing of Mohamed El Fizazi who sadly died of his injuries on January 26th 2013.

Mohamed, a 22 year old radical leftist student, passed away after he had been beaten up when the police broke into the campus of Mohamed Ibn Abdellah University in Fès. He was one of several students who were badly beaten by the so called Quick Response Forces. Mohamed was then taken to the hospital where he died as a result of serious head injuries.
He was a member of the National Union of Students in Morocco in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Mohamed Ibn Abdellah University. Mohamed was enrolled in the Department of English Literature, and he was expected to graduate this year.

Mohamed Ibn Abdellah University in Fès is a traditional stronghold of leftist students in Morocco. Many of them were killed on its campuses before. The most famous incident dates back to 1988 when police shot dead the students Souad El Saidi, Zoubida Khalifa, and Adil El Ajroumi.


source: @SamiNezar

Fellow student activists on the ground shared the following messages in this regard on the global ISM mailing list as well as global ISM fb page:

24/02/2013 Morocco UX artistic Sit-In

The Union of students to change the educational system organized on February 24th a sit-in against the murder of the student FIZAZI in FEZ and to say “NO” to the tripartite agreement between the ministry of higher education, interior and justice that allows the police forces to intervene at any moment on campus and stop student activities. Program: Flashmob, Freeze, a play, a sit-in with slogans, speaking participants. #1world1struggle

 

 

 
source: fb album on global ISM page

Union of students for the change of the educational system (also known as UECSE or UX) have recently (24 February) demonstrated artistically to show their rage about the death of Mohamed Fizazi. This student died a few days after being beaten up by the police on campus. What allowed this to happen is the Tripartite Memorandum. It combines three ministries: justice, education and interior and gives them the authority on students campus, it also gives the police the right to interfere at any time they want and for no legitimate reason.

sources: fr.lakome.com [II] (french) + morocconewstribune.com [II] (english)

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[accordion_panel title=”Sussex (UK), 7th Feb: Students Occupy Conference Centre, Against Privatisation of Jobs”]

Posted February 12th, 2013 by ism-uk • permalink

View from outside the occupation

 On 7th February, following a demonstration against the privatisation of 235 jobs, students at Sussex University occupied a conference centre on their campus. The university management plans to sell off many of the services they provide, despite opposition from staff and students. As the Sussex Against Privatisation blog states:

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[accordion_panel title=”Marburg, Feb.9: Anti-Capitalist Education Block/ Squat at former School”]

Posted February 10th, 2013 by Mo • permalink

Marburg, February 9th:
Anti-Capitalist Education Block/
Students Squat Former School Building

Around 250 people took to the streets of Marburg – a small town with around 80,000 people in the middle of Germany – during an anti-capitalist demonstration. Part of it was also an anti-capitalist education block (call to action in German):

 

Also signs saying “No Border, No Nation – Free Education!” as well as “I’m NOT human capital!” were spotted.
Other topics included sexism, deportations, as well as the increasing privatisation of public space.

Among others also this banner was part of the demo:


Overcoming borders! Solidarity instead of Germany

The whole demo was accompanied by a huge riot police contingent. When the protesters were about to reach the final destination of the march (a major junction) to hold a final speech 3 rows of riot police blocked the demo. This resulted in scuffels and the use of pepper spray as well as batons by the law and order personnel.
Reports are still vague, but according to newspaper and eye wittness reports at least four people were detained, searched, identified (incl. pictures taken) by the riot police.

mainstream reports (in German): fr-online.de + op-marburg.de

At night around 150 people (mostly) students began to squat an empty house (formerly a school) as a practical step in the struggle against the increasing privatisation of public space and for affordable housing.
The house has been empty for a while and was recently privatised (sold for €1.1m). The new owner wants to use it to rent expensive apartments.
The squatters aim to keep the space and fill it with workshops, public screenings and cultural activities at least for the coming days.

website for details (in German): squatmarburg.wordpress.com
on twitter: @squatmarburg

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[accordion_panel title=”January 17/18: Rallies for free education in Augsburg and Hannover”]

Posted January 19th, 2013 by Mo • permalink

Augsburg and Hannover, January 17/18th:
Rallies for Free Education

In the struggle for free education a broad alliance called for rallies in Augsburg (Bavaria) and Hannover (Lower-Saxony) on January 17th and 18th respectively.

Bavaria and Lower-Saxony are the only two federal states (out of 16) in Germany left charging general tuition fees at universities.

In five other federal states tuition fees were abolished again after massive protests in the past few years – e.g. most recently in North-Rhine Westphalia.

That the demonstrations were initiated now is no coincidence. In Bavaria a popular referendum aiming to abolish tuition fees kicked off on January 17th. For it to be successful almost 1,000,000 people need to participate. It is likely to succeed, recent polls suggest that around 74% of the population reject the idea to charge people for the opportunity to study. The referendum ends on January 30th.
Up to 2,000 people participated in the rally in Hannover and 600 in Augsburg. At least in Hannover protesters did not just express their rejection of tuition fees, but also focussed on the abolition of fees linked to the access to education in general – incl. kindergarden.
Many students in Bavaria and Lower Saxony also protested during the Global Education Strike in November 2012.

website of the referendum: volksbegehren-studiengebuehren.de

In Lower-Saxony elections for the parliament of the federal state are scheduled for January 20th. Opposition parties are supporting the call for the abolition of tuition fees – at least for now.

Let’s see if tuition fees will be abolished across Germany in the coming months. That would also be an important signal for the struggle on the global level.

videos and pictures of the rallies:

Augsburg

Hannover


banner says: for a society based on solidarity! – tearing down barriers in the access to education!

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[accordion_panel title=”Ankara, Dec.18: Students clash with Riot Police at MET University during protest against PM”]

Posted December 19th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

December 18, Ankara:
Students Clash with Riot Police in Protest against Visit of PM Erdoğan at MET University

The following message was sent in by activists on the ground:

Students demo in Ankara attacked by police – One Student in mortal danger

Demonstration against the visit of Prime Minister Erdogan at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. Clashes between protesters and the police for several hours. Result: Two heavily injured students and more than two dozen lightly-medium injured students.

«seller of science and imperialist war market-barker Tayyip get out of METU

In the afternoon and early evening of 18th December 2012 according to well-informed sources about 1000 students were protesting at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara, Turkey. The students were protesting against a visit by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at their university. Erdogan and his governmental-party AKP have been pushing forward the privatization and economization of higher education for years. The reason for the visit was the launch of the satellite «Goturk2» of the Turkish government and the Turkish military. The satelite has been shot into orbit on Monday 18th December at around 17:00 Turkish time. The launch was observed at METU by Erdogan, highrank military officials and their entourage through Live-Broadcasting.

The protest however was mainly directed against Erdogan and against the «national and international policies of the authority.» On the front banner it was written: «seller of science and imperialist war market-barker Tayyip get out of METU.»

The 1000 person strong demonstration started to walk at 15:50. At 16:15 the demonstration was attacked without further warning by the 3000 person strong police with rubber bullets, irritant gas and 8 water-canon-tanks. Two students were severely injured. One of them, Barış Barışık, is still in mortal danger. Dozens of other students have been injured during those clashes lasting several hours. Our sources were talking of at least 20. At 22:45 the police was shouting: «no more arrests just beat and leave them»

Following the protests police arrested 12 students after raiding university dorms in Istanbul. The Israel National News reports that during the demonstration itself five students were injured and 26 detained. “At least one student remains hospitalized in serious condition after being struck at close range with a pepper gas canister.”

source: israelnationalnews.com

This video shows the demonstration and the clashes with the police.

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[accordion_panel title=”Khartoum: Appeal for Tuition Fee Waiver followed by State Repression leads to Student Uprising”]

Posted December 11th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Karthoum, December 2012:
Appeal for Tuition Fee Waiver followed
by State Repression leads to Student Uprising
– at least four Students Died

Students continued their protests in Khartoum (Sudan) on Monday, 10 December. Four Darfuri students from Gezira University were found in a canal in Wad Madani a day before.

Human Rights Watch reports in a press release:

The students were reported missing earlier in the week during protests over the university’s refusal to register Darfuri students unless they paid full tuition.

On December 2, national security officials entered the university and arrested 11 Darfuri students who had appealed to the administration for a fee waiver. In the following days, students protested at the university. Police, national security officers, and pro-government students clashed with the protesters.

Approximately 60 were arrested on December 5, according to Sudanese groups following the case. Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said the government security forces pushed the protesters toward the canal, causing several students to fall in. Six protesters were reported missing, including the four whose bodies were later recovered from the canal. Two other students are still missing.

Khartoum’s police force announced in a press statement issued late Sunday night that 47 people were arrested for ‘attempted disturbance’. It was added that ‘the students were blocking traffic and creating chaos and riots, in addition to damaging of public and private property, including a bus and a number of public transport vehicles’.

The statement said that the police is ‘in control’ of the situation ‘without causing injuries among the protesters’.

However, the Darfur Student Organization rejected the police’s statement and stressed that the National Congress Party (NCP) ‘militia’ and the police used excessive violence against the students. The spokesman of the organization added that a number of students were arrested and several injured after the first day of protests.

Injured student, Omda Mohamed Suleiman, told Radio Dabanga that government forces used excessive violence against the protesters on Sunday. He explained that security forces supported by Rabata, students supporting the NCP, attacked the demonstrators with teargas, batons and sticks, leaving several students, including him, injured. Suleiman added they had seen security forces arresting a number of students.

The second day of protests started from Neelain University where crowds of students gathered. Sources told Radio Dabanga that approximately four thousand students protested all over Khartoum.

It was reported that the security and police forces used excessive violence against the peaceful protesters; beating them with batons, spraying them with teargas and using live ammunition and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

According to eye-witnesses, at least 60 students were injured in Monday’s protests.

The National Commission for Human Rights expressed its concern about the violations which occurred during the student demonstrations in Khartoum and the subsequent student arrests on the International Day for Human Rights.

The Commission stressed in a statement issued on Monday that during the recent events a number of rights, which are included in the Sudanese constitution, were violated such as the right to life, the right to education and the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression.

According to activists renewed clashes between students and police took place at the Islamic University in Omdurman on Tuesday, 11 December. Some say that the student dorms are on fire.
Furthermore they report on blottr.com that
“over the weekend eight young students were killed by government forces attempting to dismantle protesters’ roadblocks in Wau, in the state of Western Bahr el Ghazal.”

From June through August of 2012, Sudanese security forces cracked down on a wave of student protests, sparked initially by austerity measures, in towns across Sudan.

videos of December 9th:

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[accordion_panel title=”Dec.03, New York City: Occupation at one of last tuition free universities in the country”]

Posted December 4th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Dec.03, New York City:
Students Occupy Building to Resist Tuition Fees

Cooper Union students seized the clock tower atop the school’s headquarters and hung a banner urging the administration to keep the school tuition-free for undergraduates.

The school has not made a decision on charging tuition for undergraduates. But in April, it decided to begin charging tuition to graduate students for the first time in its 110-year history. The school’s president, Jamshed Bharucha, said then that he was searching for ways to keep undergraduate education free for classes after the one entering in 2013.

To understand the context better, it helps to know that Cooper Union is a private college fully dependent on private donors and with around 1,000 students.

Cooper is considered to be one of the most prestigious colleges in the United States […].

As a result, Cooper Union is one of the most selective colleges in the United States, with an acceptance rate generally below 10%, with both the art and architecture schools’ acceptance rates often below 5%. Cooper Union experienced a 20% increase in applications for the 2008–2009 academic year, further lowering the acceptance rate.

wikipedia.org

The protesters released the following statements:

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[accordion_panel title=”Siegen, Nov.7: Rectorate occupied !!”]

Posted November 7th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Siegen, Nov.7th:
150 Students occupy University Rectorate

The following is a translation of the press release of those who occupied the rectorate at the University of Siegen (Germany), located in the city centre, following a general assembly earlier today.

PRESS RELEASE OF THE STUDENT PROTEST GROUP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SIEGEN

The protests of the students just reached a new high at 11:10am:

A part of the protest group occupied the rectorate at the University of Siegen. The protest group is independent of all pre-existing student bodies and consists of students from all faculties, who are more than unsatisfied with the current conditions at the university. With this occupation we don’t only want to vent our anger through a disruptive action, but create a space, which can be used to critically reflect on and discuss the role our university as well as the education system as a whole within society.

We give our protest a wider perspective, than to just get rid of temporary grievances, and a space, which we can’t don’t have available on our overcrowded campus. The protest of many participants is linked to their hope, that through our criticism and demands something would change. That we ourselves can create change. But what should change? And how would it be better? What do we imagine when we hear “humanly shaped future”, the motto of the university decided by our rector – and why does nobody, but ourselves, speak of a humanly shapred present? And could our ideas and visions actually be turned into reality under the given conditions? What are the possible scopes within the systems and when do we hit the boundaries? 

What roles does the ‘ivory tower’ university even play in our society? And who is the correct addressee for our criticism and demands? Who is responsible for these unreasonable conditions, and who could change something about this administration of misery? Or can’t the grievances even be traced back to individual protagonists, like the rector?

We want to discuss these questions with students, but are not anymore willing to be lulled into ‘future talk’ by the rector again! This occupation of the rector’s office is therefore a deliberate break from previous forms of protests.

For a truly humanly future,
the protest group from the occupied rectorate.

Original in German: blogs.uni-siegen.de (.pdf)

UPDATE: Following threats to have the occupation violently evicted by riot police, the students left the building again in the evening. (de.indymedia.org)

media reports and other sources (in german): asta.uni-siegen.de + de.indymedia.org + derwesten.de + wirsiegen.de

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[accordion_panel title=”Taipei, Nov.7: Increase of tuition fees sparks more protests”]

Posted November 7th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Taipei, Nov.7th:
Increase in Tuition Fees sparks more Protests

Now it is official: Universities in Taiwan can increase tuition fees by 5-10% per year from 2013 onwards.
To make a stand against this policy hundreds of students, workers and teachers’ union activists planned to occupy the second public hearing organised by the National Academy for Educational Research (NAER) in Taipei. The first public hearing was already successfully occupied on October 30th.

Unexpectedly. the NEAR called off the public hearing a day before. In light of these developments students, labor workers and teachers rallied at the Ministry of Education and decided to protest the tuition fee policy there. According to activists on the ground police forces prevented the crowd from breaking through the gates of the ministry.
For now, the government announced that tuition fees at colleges will not rise for the next semester only.

mainstream media report: taipeitimes.com

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[accordion_panel title=”Taichung, Oct.30th: Students occupy Public Hearing to Resist Fee Hike”]

Posted October 30th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Taichung, Oct.30th:
Students Occupy Public Hearing
to Resist Hike in Tuition Fees

Students occupied a public hearing in central Taiwan organised by the National Academy for Educational Research (NAER). They protested a draft published by NAER suggesting increases in tuition fees: 5-10% for public universities and 5% for private universities. Activists on the ground announced to continue with protests and also occupy the next public hearings in Northern and Southern Taiwan unless the government confirms not to increase fees!

The struggle against (increasing) tuition fees has been going on for the past few months. Already on March 26th protesters gathered in front of the Ministry of Education in Taipei. [report: ism-global.net]
Activists also rallied at the National Taiwan Normal University for the Global Day of Action to Reclaim Education – Direct Democracy NOW! on October 18th. [report: ism-global.net]

pictures: flickr.com

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[accordion_panel title=”Sri Lanka, Sept. 24-28th: Long Marches for Free Education”]

Posted October 3rd, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Sri Lanka, Sept. 24-28th:
Long Marches for Free Education

For months lecturers in Sri Lanka have been on strike in the struggle for proper funding of public education. On August 29th thousands already took to the streets of Colombo and clashed with riot police. For details on the aims of the protests as well as pictures of that day check out ism-global.net.

For five days (Sept 24-28th) thousands of students, lecturers, parents and others took part in two long marches for free education. Each march covered a distance 120km. One march, which was organised by the Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF) among others, departed from city of Kandy. The other march, which was organised by the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) among others, began in Galle. Both headed to Colombo and ended in a huge rally.

Check out the video below.

Take a look at this video in english:

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[accordion_panel title=”Indonesia, Sept.27-28th: Protests against Commercialization of Education in 15 cities”]

Posted September 29th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Indonesia, Sept.27/28th:
Protests against new ‘Higher Education Act’

On July 13 2012, the House of Representatives passed a new bill on higher education. During the plenary session, the new bill was introduced to give public universities greater autonomy in aspects of governance and seeking non-state funding, but still allows for substantially tight regulation from the government.
Activist groups across Indonesia have been protesting against the bill claiming that the provisions on ‘autonomy’ would pave way for the commercialization of higher education and result in increased fees. It is eminent that the privatization and liberalization of universities will turn higher education into a business commodity and this is something various activist groups are rejecting, despite what Syamsul Bachri, the head of the House working committee said; that the bill was really a “constructive effort toward managing and regulating the higher education sector to be more modern and globally competitive.”
As part of the efforts to counter this new bill students organized in the Indonesian Student Union (SMI) – which supports and prepares activities in connection with the GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE [Oct.18 + Nov.14-22] – organized protest actions in 15 cities on September 27/28th (see pictures below).
Here is an example (on a junction in Semarang City):
In December 2005 the government already signed the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services), which govern the liberalization of trade in 12 service sectors. The agreement also considers education as a public sector service that should be privatized and therefore public control to be removed. Here are some figures that might help to understand the situation better:
  • Of the 49,000 kindergartens in Indonesia, 99.35 percent are privately operated schools.
  • In contrast to the majority of privately run kindergartens, most elementary schools are government-operated public schools, accounting for nearly 93 percent of all elementary schools in Indonesia.
  • 56 percent of junior secondary and 67 percent of senior secondary schools are run privately.
  • 68 percent of all higher education students are enrolled in one of the more than 3,000 private institutions in the country. There are only about 130 public institutions.

Therefore this new bill on higher education is part of the whole process, which increases the privatization and commercialization of education even further. A process that can be observed around the world and that makes common efforts in the struggle for free emancipatory education more necessary than ever. After all education is the basis for the emancipation of the individual as well as society at large and therefore should be considered a fundamental right.

Sources: smisemarang.co.ccen.wikipedia.orgweb.worldbank.orgnytimes.comthejakartaglobe.com

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[accordion_panel title=”Strikes at Universities in Greece”]

Posted September 21st, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Strikes at Universities in Greece

The following email was sent to the mailing list of the Edu-Factory collective on September 21st 2012:

During the past weeks there has been a wave of faculty strikes in Greek Universities. These are the reasons for the protests:

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[accordion_panel title=”Manila, Sept.17-21: Student Strike against Commercialisation of Education”]

Posted September 19th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Manila, Sept.17-21:
Student Strike
against Commercialisation of Education

In the struggle against (tuition) fees as well as the increasing commercialisation of education in general students at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), in the capital Manila, decided to shut down the institution for a week (Sept.17-21).
Activities during the strike are also directed against 40 years of martial law. Although there’s currently no legal declaration of a state of martial law, military tactics and operations frequently include measures such as forced disappearances, warrantless arrests and extra-judicial executions, especially in areas outside cities. Nowadays most of the victims of such military operations are farmers, tribal leaders, and environmentalists who oppose the operations of mining companies in their villages.

On Tuesday a huge flashmob was organised on the PUP campus.

Students at the University of the Philippines (UP), also in Manila, joined the strike for a day on Wednesday. And also at other colleges and universities people arranged protest activities in solidarity, but also to connect to the struggle.

The week of action will reach its peak on Friday (Sept.21), which will see a mass mobilisation for a protest rally in Mendiola Street.

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[accordion_panel title=”Petition: Stop the sell out of the VU University Amsterdam!”]

Posted September 11th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Petition:
Stop the Sell Out of the
VU University Amsterdam

The following message was communicated through the ISM platform:

Dear International Student Movement friends,

You may have heard the alarming news about severe budget cuts at universities and higher educational institutions in The Netherlands. We understand that this is not just a very local problem at our VU University Amsterdam, but that the problem occurs in the whole country and internationally. Concern is growing about the sell out of universities as public institutions. Our university is particularly ardent in its implementation of their plans to reduce fixed costs and attract more industrial subventions, bypassing advice from the official partners, the trade unions and the works council. We, students and staff-members, are taking serious action to prevent this undemocratic process and we have launched an international petition. We particularly seek support from student organisations because student facilities and teaching are the main victims of the reorganisations.

We kindly ask you to post our call for support on your website, and of course to sign it.  Below is the text you could forward.

Sincerely,
Bertie Kaal (Concerned VU group member)

CALL FOR SUPPORT

Esteemed Colleagues and Students,

We, your colleagues at  the VU University Amsterdam, need your help. We seek international solidarity to stop our Executive Board from implementing a Strategic Plan based on a strict business model that has recently been rejected by the VU University’s Works Council and the Trade Unions. This plan aims at changing our university into a commercial knowledge industry, at the expense of 450 full-time jobs and severe cuts in student services. Full details on our petition site.

Please support our cause and sign the petition! Click on the button below for further information about our situation and your signature.

We urge you to distribute this international call for support as widely as possible.

Kind regards,
The Concerned VU Group, VU University Amsterdam
‘Verontruste VU’ers’

More details on
verontrust.wordpress.com

facebook.com/groups/379785065389962

Click on this banner to find out more and support the petition:

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[accordion_panel title=”Colombo, August 29: Education Rally attacked by Police while Teachers Strike”]

Posted August 30th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Colombo (Sri Lanka), August 29th:
Education Rally attacked by Police
while Teachers Strike

The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) organized a strike that already started on July 4. It brought the higher education system on the island to a standstill. In a nutshell the teachers fight for:

  • 6% of GDP to be allocated to public education; 
  • increasing wages;
  • more academic freedom;
  • freely accessible education.

In reaction the government decided to close 15 campuses and six other institutions indefinitely in mid August. A rally organized by University lecturers demanding the government to protect free education was held at Hyde Park in Colombo (Sri Lanka) on August 23. Trade unions representing teachers and principals, parents’ associations, organizations of intellectuals and members of several trade unions of the water, electricity, railway, and health sectors also participated in the protest march which disrupted traffic in the capital. [groundviews.org]

In reaction to this situation around 3,500 university students from across the island took streets of Colombo on August 29. They want to pressure the government to give in to the demands of the striking teachers and re-open the universities again. The protesters were met with tear-gas as well as water cannons (mixed with ammonia) and were attacked by riot police.
The students were shouting slogans and demand the state to protect free education. In reaction to the police violence protesters hurled stones back at them. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured during the clash, although many students suffered burning sensations in their eyes. No arrests were recorded.

Regardless of pouring rain, the students rallied on a main road and were addressed by a number of undergraduates who spoke about the closure of universities and how it affected them. Also addressing the rally were activists involved with the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF), Inter University Bhikkhu Federation (IUBF) and Inter Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee.

source: reports by activists on the ground.
websites: iusfsl.org (fb page) + fb group of FUTA

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[accordion_panel title=”Melbourne, August 22: Occupation to resist cuts at La Trobe University”]

Posted August 22nd, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Melbourne (Australia), August 22nd:
Parts of La Trobe University Occupied
in Struggle against Cuts

URGENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 7PM AUGUST 22ND –
LA TROBE STUDENTS OCCUPY BUNDOORA CAMPUS TO STOP THE CUTS

Students from the “Stop the HUSS Cuts Collective” have voted to occupy the La Trobe University campus in Bundoora indefinitely, starting tonight.

At a meeting on campus this afternoon, students voted to occupy the campus with a number of students volunteering to stay overnight and indefinitely until Open Day. The collective also demanded the rejection of the proposed cuts, for the university to enter into negotiations with the NTEU in good faith, a shift in focus on saving money to saving jobs and for a redistribution of executive pay to save other jobs at the university.

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[accordion_panel title=”Dhaka University, July 19th: Strike for Democratic Structures”]

Posted July 20th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Dhaka University, July 19th:
Students Strike for Democratic Structures


Shikkharthi Adhikar Mancha, a student platform at Dhaka University (DU), enforced a daylong strike on campus in their struggle for student union elections, the Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU).
DU, with 35,000 students, is one of the biggest public universities in Bangladesh.

On July 12, the protesting students’ platform gave the university administration a 72-hour-deadline to announce a date for the DUCSU polls. Since there was no reaction the students proceeded with the strike.
Among others the entrances of the Arts Faculty and Business Faculty buildings, Curzon Hall, Annex building, and the Institute of Business Administration building were locked by students in the early morning. At around noon the strikers held a protest rally in front of the arts building.

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[accordion_panel title=”Check out the new Global Education Strike Hub!”]

Posted July 15th, 2012 by badger • permalink

The education systems around the world have become oppressive and manipulative. Young People are funneled through factory like schools that train them to be another gear in the neo-liberal capitalism industry.

Enough! It is time for students of the world to realize that our struggles are connected and for us to unify in resistance and reclaim our education. Let us work together to create a better system of learning that helps the young mind expand in its natural creativity.

The Global Education Strike is the first step in creating a unified force of young people around the world. The future and the power is in our hands, let this Hub be a place for collaboration, skill sharing and information swapping focused on the creation of a Global Education Strike in October.

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[accordion_panel title=”Protests at the Free University of Berlin”]

Posted June 12th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

June 2012:
Protests at the so-called
Free University of Berlin

Last Wednesday (June 6) the Presidential Boad (Präsidium) of the Free University (FU) of Berlin temporarily looked like a besieged fortress: Several hundred students rushed to the entrance to get inside the building. Reason for the siege is a new framework of examination regulations, which the Presidential Board drafted without the inclusion of student committees. This framework includes that examinations can only be repeated twice and that students can be forced to attend compulsory consultation sessions from the third semester onwards. Michael Beron of the student representative body (AStA) sees in this framework an attempt to generate “an enormous pressure to perform and conform”.

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[accordion_panel title=”Faculties occupied at Universidad de la Laguna (Spain)”]

Posted May 28th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

May 2012:
Students squat Faculties at the Universidad de la Laguna in the Struggle against Cuts

The following report was sent in by an activist involved in the ongoing occupation on May 23rd:

My name is Florencia, I am one of the students who are occupying the Fine Arts building at the Universidad de La Laguna in Tenerife. Let me explain why we are here.
On April 20th, the Spanish government published a Royal Decree in order to reduce the budget in education by 3,000 million euros, for which the following measures will be taken:

  • Controlling the growth of the Universities and the creation of new centers. (We are specially affected by this, since our building is seriously damaged, old, and inappropriate, and they will stop building the new one, that is halfway built by now.)
  • Controlling the hiring of teachers (200 professors will be fired in our university alone)
  • Roughening the requirements for accessing scholarships. This will make it nearly impossible for students to balance studying and working. Soon only the wealthy will be able to access higher education. 
  • Controlling thoroughly the teacher’s research. 
  • If Universities overdue the budget they will be fined.
  • University fees will rise significantly. Enrollment for an undergraduate degree currently costs around 700/800 euros, but next year it will rise up to 1,900.

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[accordion_panel title=”Kuala Lumpur: Rally for Free Education”]

Posted April 15th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Kuala Lumpur, April 14th:
Rally for Free Education
– public Square occupied –

Not only in Taipei (check: ism-global.net) have students and teachers in Asia been resisting the increasing commercialisation of education, but also in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) things are heating up. More than 500 people protested against the education loan scheme PTPTN as well as for free education in the streets of the capital yesterday (April 14th). PTPTN stands for the National Higher Education Fund Corporation.

The students first gathered in front of Masjid Jamek LRT station at 2pm. They then marched towards the Sogo shopping centre along Jalan Raja Laut. At 3pm, the crowd stopped in front of the Sogo shopping centre to hear speeches from student leaders.

Mandeep Singh, a former student (he did not disclose his university): “The PTPTN only drives the youth into debt. And not just the youth, but also their families!” he shouted.

The students then left Sogo at around 3:35pm, and marched down Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman towards Dataran Merdeka.

Following the rally more than 300 activists began to set up tents on the Merdeka Square and occupied it. Assemblies were and are still being held. At this hour (April 15th – 5.30pm local time) the square is still being occupied.

reports: freemalaysiatoday.com + malaysia-chronicle.com

By the way, how about uniting worldwide for a Global Education Strike on November 19th 2012?

Currently activists are also considering to set up an International Student Movement – Chinese (中文). Get involved!
International Student Movement – Asia: ism-global.net/ism.asia

more videos of the rally: I, II, III, IV

pictures of the rally:


“Students are not Robots! Stop fooling students.”

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[accordion_panel title=”Taipei: Protest against Tuition Fees + Activist Network initiated”]

Posted March 28th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

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:

  • NO tuition hike – tuition fee should be cut annually instead, until education is freely accessible to all;
  • NO decentralisation of the decision making regarding the costs for tuition fees – this would promote the corporatisation of universities even further;
  • higher taxes for the high-tec industry as well as other wealthy parts of society.

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.

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[accordion_panel title=”Quebec (Canada): Student Strike + Massive Rally against Tuition Fees”]

Posted March 24th, 2012 by Mo • permalink

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.

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[accordion_panel title=”Movement in Support of Expelled Students at German University in Cairo”]

Posted March 2nd, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Feb./March 2012:
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.

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[accordion_panel title=”Budapest: Protests against Education Reforms”]

Posted March 2nd, 2012 by Mo • permalink

Budapest – Feb. 15th:
Students Protest Education Reforms

the following report was sent to the global ISM mailing list:

On February 15, 2012 several thousands students made a rally along the Danube to protest against the new Higher Education Act that destroys publicly funded higher education and obliges students to stay in work in Hungary after graduation. The demonstration ended as a several hours occupation of the law faculty of ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University).

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[accordion_panel title=”Starbucks squatted at Bosphorus University (Boğaziçi Üniversitesi)”]

Posted December 11th, 2011 by Mo • permalink

Istanbul (Turkey):
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).

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[accordion_panel title=”Togo, Dec.8th: Massive Protests for Access to Education”]

Posted December 10th, 2011 by Mo • permalink

Togo:
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 united.for.education@gmail.com.

For activists across the African continent to network and connect an ISM-Africa facebook group was set up.

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[accordion_panel title=”July 15 Global Chat: Creating a Call to Action”]

Posted July 16th, 2012 by admin • permalink

About this Post:

The following is the text from a international online chat about creating a global education strike. Originally different people’s text was different colors but now it is all one. They are collaborative words from about 15 people from five or more countries as I best remember. If they spark you interest please contact us.

posted by Jake

CALL to ACTION for the GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE (Oct.18 + Nov.14-21)

Why a CALL to ACTION?
The CALL to ACTION should encourage people to get involved in the coordinations for the Global Education Strike and shortly explain what it is about and why it is necessary.

DRAFT CALL:

RECLAIM EDUCATION! Global Strike for Education Oct.18 + Nov.14-21

We are all people affected by the increasing commodification and commercialisation of education. It is time for us to unite worldwide!
Why? Because around the world we can observe how tuition fees just like the pressure to perform increase, budget cuts are pushed through, schools and universities de-democratized, while the influence of ‘private economic actors’ increases and an education market and competition between institutions is being facilitated by national states. all over the world the governerments are trying to privatize Education. In June 2012 alone 45 protests in more than 40 cities [http://ism-global.net/protests_worldwide_june2012] were recorded in connection with this struggle.We fight because we want FREE, EMANCIPATORY, PUBLIC Education for all. Education should be, not just according to the some laws, a human right. Everybody should be able to study regardless of his/her social conditions. But that’s not what happens in the real world.
All over the globe we see governements cutting budgets and staff from schools and universities. First they leave the instituons with no money, so they can’t function. After that, the governements give a single solution to the problem they created: privatization. They, after making it impossible for public education to survive, blaim the public system, and say the private market will take good care of our Education. But that’s a lie.
The private market worries about PROFITS. They’re not concerned if students are, or not, learning how to live in a society. They want consumers, not real-life individuals with the power to see the world with his/her own eyes and criticize what’s wrong with the neighbourhood,the city, the globe. And that way of putting education has a name and a surname: the capitalist system and the neoliberalism.
This has gone beyond just education and everyone should join in with the students fight,this is about all of our rights and we must all fight. Corporations are taking over goverments we did not elect them we must make our voices heard.

We are witnessing more than just a collapse of our educational institutions but a collapse in respect for the young people of the world. We are being mechanized to function as a cog in the capitalist machine. Programmed to compete with our fell on every level. Our creativity, our energy and our free spirits are activly being crushed by our educational institutions. We need an education system that cultivates creativity and collaberation with our brothers and sisters.

http://ism-global.net/discussion_global_education_strike_2012

WHY strike together GLOBALLY?
People worldwide are struggling against:
Increasing privatisation and commercialisation of education
De-democratisation within schools and universities
Hikes in (tuition) fees
Increasing pressure to perform
Increasing influences of ‘private economic actors’ on teaching and research
against cuts in the educational system — Massive staff cuts and budget cuts
western imperialist notions of education< YES!

The SAME PROBLEMS EVERYWHERE!!
Let's connect and unite in the struggle for FREE EMANCIPATORY EDUCATION!
To fight for alternatives and resist such effects from the current economic system together, participants of previous global chat meetings believe it is time to call for a first coordinated strike at educational institutions across the world in history.
To strengthen the struggle on the local and regional level, this coordination would encourage a desperately needed public discussion on the actual purpose of education for the individual as well as for the society at large.
It would also point out the global dimension of the struggle and therefore put greater emphasis on the actual roots of the problems we are all experiencing.
We must call for a global strike and encourage all to join the old, the young, students ,unions, workers ,all must get involved and say enough! before we lose it all! If privatization fails to deliver affordable, quality services the
GATS will make it very difficult to get services back into public hands. GATS _ general agreement on trade in services (this is a world wide problem! ) goverments and corporations due not want education to be at the top of priorities,they have there own hidden agendas!
WE MUST STAND UP FIGHT BACK

Aspects to be included in the CALL to ACTION (please contribute):

Reclaiming Education, Reclaiming our Lives – Getting Organized for the GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE !!! <- header?

mentioning recent protest and resistance activities related to the struggle against the increasing commercialisation/commodification of education and for free emancipatory education in the world (linking to the overview of education protests worldwide in June 2012: http://ism-global.net/protests_worldwide_june2012
pointing out why the form of action (striking) is necessary (functions of educational institions within the capitalist system and the national state; e.g. human capital, knowledge production, education factories)
explain why it is necessary to connect and unite globally (forces of capitalism are global due to pressure to remain competitive on the global level; bringing people involved in the struggle around the world together;…)

Make the reasons of the protest as clear as we can and find many requests that will be similar for the countriew all over the world.
#globalNOISE, if you join it, maybe 1-2 lines.
it is crucial to clearly define the importance of education as a public good under public responability! Why are we fighiting? for what?
idetify the stakeholders to be addressed
Being that we are coordinating a global education strike, we should present the tactics of the strike to everybody involved. e.g. How would the global strike respond to partial negotiations? Is it negotiation for all or none? Are we going to hold our ground in our localities demanding free emancipatory education for the other countries, even if by some miracle we achieve free emancipatory education in our localities?
..we must point out to people what is neo-liberalism! and that this is world wide
^^ as respose I think that negotiations could be fruitful even if we don't get "all" – 1. they can create a sense of victory within the movement, 2. they can make life better in a small way- I think the key thing with compromise or trying to change the systems of education is that each step must be part of a larger plan of the total reconstruction instead of a compromise that creates more reliance on the corrupt systems
point out that tax-payers always payed for education, and now the money from taxes are being stolen from the education ministers.
Fight against the misinformation in the mass media about the student movements and it's goalsyes, they must be ritualistically discredited
Points of methods: A. the call out shouldn't be pages long; B. we should divide the work load to build a good list for diffusing/disseminating it
In Hamburg and Berlin we will try to connect our protest so that the goal will be biger and the message stronger – we want to occupy youthhouses and playgrounds for example – may we can manage that with occupying schools – I hope we can manage something in this two cities, than in Hamburg I have no clue how much power we have to do/mange this but I will give my best
point of order: thematic organization carries more powerful message. perhaps we can find several overall themes herein? like what? education?locus of struggles, unifying actions of the past, neoliberal global agenda? it's all here already, i'm speaking only of format
Training vs. Education: we want to be educated about the interconnectedness of people, planet, technology, politics, etc.; we do not wish to be merely trained to be a producer and consumer. If we are truly educated, then that will breed a new generation of mature, well-informed critical thinkers that can ask the right questions in order to comprehensively solve local and global issues
We should call for Free education as a gift to next generation. Students should be able to study without collecting so much debts, and pay for it later, when they are actually working…
Here in Brazil we fight for dignity. The main reason of our strike (all Federal Universitys are on strike – students, teachers and workers) for 10% of the country money invested in Public Education. And the stryke it's not only because of the teacher's salary (they began the movement), but for better learnig-teaching conditions.
Could we start with the Joint Statement as a base to do the redaction? Add a few words about the struggles worldwide today, enhance the aspects that people here have underlined (because I think we find them pretty much all of them in the Joint Statement)
emphasis on the need for truly global unity in response to truly global problem. Here Here
One aspect of the universal nature of our struggle is a point that my friend brought up. He said that the oppression that many of us feel in the university systems is part of a larger oppression of young people in general. It is part of a system that has been socializing us into people that think inside of boxes and listen to orders without question. That crushes our natural creativity and yearning for learning. Occupy addressed this perfectly: "Childhood is not a Disorder."
I am a graphic designer and woud like to work on the design team to make this call to action very powerful visually to complement the words that come out of this convo -this excellent!!
I think that we need to have a clear understanding/definition of what global solidarity in the form of education, can look like

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The information here is from the Occupy.net wiki. Use the wiki to document everything pertaining to your Hub. Wikis are a powerful way to share content and document the processes for the work you are engaged in.

[wiki-embed url=”http://wiki.occupy.net/wiki/Global_Education_Strike” tabs]

[ai1ec view="agenda"]