After a few Global Chat Meetings and a call for feedback people involved in the struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education and for free emancipatory education at various locations around the world agreed to call for the Global Weeks of Action for Education (GWA) during November 7 – 20th. While November 17th (International Students Day) will mark a peak with globally synchronised actions. More info
Many of us use the “International Student Movement” as a self-managed platform initiated to exchange information, to network and to co-ordinate protests at both the international and the global levels. Since the ISM platform was initiated in November 2008 the “International Day of Action against the Commercialization of Education” (Nov.5th 2008), “Reclaim your Education – Global Week of Action” (April 20-29th 2009), “Education is NOT for $A£€ – Global Week of Action” (Nov.5th + 9-18th 2009), “Global Wave of Action for Education” (Oct./Nov. 2010) and “Spring of Resistance” (March – May 2011) were coordinated. Currently activists worldwide get ready for the “Global Weeks of Action for Education” (Nov. 7-20th 2011).
We strive for structures based on direct participation and non-hierarchical organization through collective discussion and action. Anyone who identifies with the struggle against the privatization of public education, and for free and emancipatory education can join and participate on as well as shape the platform!
The following aims unite us worldwide:
What are we struggling against?
- The effects of the current economic system on people and education systems:
→ tuition fees or any form of fees which exclude people from accessing and equally participating in education
→ student debt
→ public education aligned to serve the (labour) market;
► The so called Bologna-Process (as with its counterparts around the world) is aimed at implementing education systems that primarily train people in skills serving the labour market. It promotes the reduction of costs for training a person, shortens the length of time spent studying, and produces underqualified workforces.
→ turning education into a commodity as part of the commodification of all aspects of life
→ the significant and increasing influence of business interests on basic budgets for public education
→ the significant and increasing budget cuts on public education worldwide
→ the privatisation of public funds through the subsidisation of private educational institutions
→ the commodification and exploitation of labor within educational institutions
- We stand against discrimination and exclusion within any educational institution based on:
→ socio-economic background, for instance by charging fees so that people with less money can’t participate equally
→ performance and academic record
→ political ideologies and activities
→ sexual orientation
→ ethnic background
→ skin colour
- We stand against the prioritisation of research towards commercially valuable patents rather than open knowledge freely available to all
→ Public educational institutions are increasingly forced to compete for private sponsorships to do (basic) research; at the same time private funds tend to be invested into research promising to be profitable, leading to a decline in funding for areas of research which may be important but not deemed economically lucrative. Educational institutions and participants are evaluated on the basis of economic profitability and often compete to receive additional public funding based on this criteria.
- We stand against the prioritisation of income-generating research grants ahead of education and basic research
- Activities for the army within educational institutions:
→ no research specifically for military purposes
→ no recruiting and advertising activities for the army
What are we struggling for?
→ free and emancipatory education as a human right. Education should primarily work for the emancipation of the individual, which means: being enabled to critically reflect and understand the power structures and environment surrounding him-/herself. Education must not only enable the emancipation of the individual but society as a whole
→ education as a public good serving public interests
→ academic freedom and choice: freedom to pursue any educational discipline
→ free from monetary mechanisms of payment by participants and any kind of discrimination and exclusion and therefore freely accessible to all individuals
→ sufficient funding for all public educational institutions, whether they are deemed profitable or not
→ all educational entities/institutions should be democratically structured, meaning direct participation from below as a basis for decision making processes
Why on the local and global level?
The impacts of the current global economic system create struggles worldwide. While applying local pressure to influence our individual local/regional politics and legislation, we must always be aware of the global and structural nature of our problems and learn from each other’s tactics, experiences in organizing, and theoretical knowledge. Short-term changes may be achieved on the local level, but great change will only happen if we unite globally.
Education systems worldwide do what they are intended to do within the economic and state system(s): select for, train and create ignorance and submission. We unite for a different education system and a different life.
We stand united against any sort of repression by governments worldwide directed at people involved in the struggle for free and emancipatory education.
The following groups and individuals support this statement, pledge to spread it, and to get actively involved in efforts to network and unite education activist groups worldwide in the future.
Wish to support this statement by having your (group) name listed below? Just send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
~ one world – one struggle ~
Groups endorsing the “joint statement” so far:
- AktionsBündnis gegen Studiengebühren – ABS (= action alliance against tuition fees), Germany
- AK Info des Protestplenums Uni Frankfurt, Germany
- Anakbayan, Philippines
- Anarchist Front, Republic of Macedonia
- AStA (student representive committee) Universität Bielefeld, Germany
- AStA (student representive committee) Universität Bremen, Germany
- AStA (student representative body) Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany
- AStA Marburg (student representative body of the Philipps University Marburg), Germany
- Autonomous Solidarity Organization (ASO), U.S.A.
- Bangladesh Students’ Union (BSU), Bangladesh
- Bildungsfreiräume e.V., Munich, Germany
- Bildungsprotest Erlangen (FAUBrennt), University of Nuernberg-Erlangen, Germany
- Bildungsstreik AG Wetterau, Germany
- Bildungsstreikbündnis Halle, Germany
- Bildungsstreikinitiative “Bildungsoffensive” der KHSB, Berlin, Germany
- Centre of the Students of the Universities of Tirana, “Study, Critic, Action”, Albania
- Club Conscience Estudiantine, Morocco
- Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, Manhattanville College, New York, U.S.A.
- Democracy Village Peoples Assembly, London, United Kingdom
- Democratizing Education Network, U.S.A.
- Demokratische Linke Gießen, Germany
- Demokratische Linke Marburg, Germany
- Demokratyczne Zrzeszenie Studenckie (DZS), Poland
- Direct Action (network of independent student unions), Ukraine
- federal plenary meeting of the “Bildungsstreik” (= educational strike) on Aug.8th 2010, Germany
- Front de Lutte pour l’Education, France
- Graduate Employees Together (G.E.T.), University of New Mexiko, U.S.A.
- Graduate Student Organization, State University of New York at Stony Brook, U.S.A.
- Gruppo Italia Libera – Free Italy, Italy
- Hong Kong Federation of Students, P.R.China
- Human Rights Alliance, Australia
- IMF Resistance Network, U.S.A.
- InformAcción Colectiva, Chile
- Initiative Bildungsstreik Marburg, Germany
- Irie Révolté, music band, Germany
- Jobs with Justice of the Traid, NC, U.S.A.
- Jugendverband Jungdemokraten/Junge Linke Hessen e.V., Germany
- JungdemokratInnen/Junge Linke Gießen, Germany
- Kritische Studenten Utrecht, the Netherlands
- LandesAStenKonferenz (LAK) Hessen (= student representative body of the federal state Hesse), Germany
- LandesSchülerInnenVereinigung (LSV) Bayern e.V. (= pupils representative body of Bavaria), Germany
- League of Filipino Students (LFS), Philippines
- Liberty Tree Foundation, U.S.A.
- Linke Liste an der FernUni Hagen, Germany
- Mi smo univerza (= We are the university), Slovenia
- Movement for Social Justice – LENKA, Republic of Macedonia
- Yeni Demokratik Genclik (= New Democratic Youth), Turkey
- Nile University’s Student Union [email], Egypt
- n’Solidaritet, Prishtina, Kosovo
- Occupants of POT81 at the Technical University of Dresden [email@example.com], Germany
- Occupy Louisiana, U.S.A.
- Offenes Bildungsbündnis Gießen (O.Bi.Bü.Gi), Germany
- Olympia Coalition for a Fair Budget, Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, U.S.A.
- PanAfrica Institute, Gambia
- PEMBEBASAN, Indonesia
- Protestplenum FH Frankfurt (protest assembly at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt/M), Germany
- Punjab Student Union (PSU), India
- Referat für Hochschulpolitik der Otto v. Guericke Universität Magdeburg, Germany
- Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan-SDK (= Democratic Association of the Youth), Philippines
- SchülerInnenOrganisation für Augsburg (SOfA) e.V. (pupils’ organisation), Germany
- Schulstreik (= school strike) Osnabrück, Germany
- SDS Regensburg, Germany
- Self-determination Movement centre, “Study, Critic, Action”, University of Prishtina, Kosovo
- SimplyJITH, India
- Sloboden Indeks (independent student movement), Republic of Macedonia
- Slobodni Filozofski (Free Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Zagreb) – international website, Croatia
- Social Movement “The Future of Kazakhstan“, Kazakhstan
- SprecherInnenrat Universität Regensburg, Germany
- STAND of Queens College, U.S.A.
- Stepping Stones Nigeria Child Empowerment Foundation (SSNCEF), Nigeria
- Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) – Arlington, U.S.A.
- Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) – Dallas, U.S.A.
- Student Government of Kennedy-King College Chicago Illinois (contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org (facebook), email@example.com (facebook)), U.S.A.
- Students of the Final Cut, New York, U.S.A.
- Students Without Borders, Australia
- StuPa der katholischen Hochschule für Sozialwesen (= student parliament of the Catholic University for Applied Sciences), Berlin, Germany
- UniBrennt (= uni burning; student movement), Austria
- Unsere Uni Bern, Switzerland
- Unsere Uni Fribourg (firstname.lastname@example.org), Switzerland
- UStA of the Pedagogical University Freiburg, Germany
- Worldwide Nepalese Students’ Organization (WNSO), Nepal
- Young Greens Togo (email@example.com), Togo
- Youth for Community Academic and Development Services (YOCADS), Liberia
Individuals endorsing the “joint statement” so far:
- Agnieszka Dziemianowicz, student, University of Wrocław, Poland
- Andreas Hastreiter, student, University of Regensburg, Germany
- Anka Nowicka, member of Partia Kobiet, Aleksandrów Łódzki, Poland
- Aurora Sambolin Santiago, PhD student and tutor in Spanish, University of Manchester, UK
- Ben Manski, candidate, Wisconsin State Assembly, U.S.A.
- Carielen Laas, student, Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
- Charlene Jane González, student and activist, University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
- Choo Chon Kai, Central Committee Member of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Malaysia
- David Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate, U.S.A.
- David Swanson, author, Charlottesville, U.S.A.
- Elricius Niklaus, NonProfitable Individual, Malaysia
- Gerry Georgatos, Students Without Borders, Australia
- Irina Talevska, Rep. of Macedonia
- Jakob Jakobsen, professor, Funen Art Academy, Denmark
- Jawaher Abdullah Qasim, Taiz, Yemen
- Jeanne Chiron, student and teacher, Paris, France
- Katja Ertl, student, University of Regensburg, Germany
- Ketie Saner, LandesSchülerInnenVereinigung Bayern e.V., Germany
- Khaw Seng Hean, University of Science Malaysia, Malaysia
- Laurel Dearing, student, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom
- Prof. Lev Kreft, professor of Aesthetics at the Faculty of Arts (University of Ljubljana) and executive director at the Peace Institute, Slovenia
- Maja Kohek, Save the University, Koper/Capodistria, Slovenia
- Marie Follayttar, Student Rights Activist, University of Southern Maine, Maine, U.S.A.
- Mike Ferner, Veterans for Peace (president), U.S.A.
- Mike Nagler, attac Leipzig, Germany
- Mo Schmidt, AStA (student representative body) Marburg, Germany
- Monirus Salam Shuvo, student of Dhaka University, involved with the Bangladesh Students’ Union, Bangladesh
- Myron (Mike) Stagman, Dr. of English Lit., the FreeThinkers, United Kingdom
- Patrick Cuninghame, Sociology Lecturer, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico
- Peter Babnik, student and teacher, University of Koblenz, Germany
- Peter Morgan, Otago University, New Zealand
- Rasigan Maharajh, Chief Director of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
- Sascha N. Rashof, PhD student in Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College – University of London, United Kingdom
- Serhiy Hirik, postgraduate (PhD) student of the M.Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Studies of the NASU, Ukraine
- Tan Sze Ming, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia
- Volker Seel, attac Marburg, Germany
- Wes Strong, National October 7th Coalition to Defend Public Education, U.S.A.
- Wildaly Meyers, student at the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras Campus, Faculty of Education, Puerto Rico
- Will Klatt, organizer for Students for a Democratic Society, and the Oct 7th coalition for education, U.S.A.
- Zack Murrell-Dowson, Newcastle Upon – Tyne, United Kingdom