sexta-feira, novembro 07, 2008

Preliminary results of the International Day of Action

Please help to spread the content of this email on your homepages, since the media around the world pretty much ignored this day of action (despite sending press releases). Except for the media in Croatia, all the others exclusively focussed mainly on the national agenda.
The Guardian mentioned the international day of action in one sentence below a picture [from Croatia] and wrote that the European Students' Union called for the protests.


The International Day against the Commercialization of Education was a sucess story in Liberia espeacially the first of its kind. More than 250 youth/students and civil society organizations attended the protest which was hosted on the Bushrod Island, Monrovia.

The protest was charasterized by drama, anti-educational songs, political speeches/messages from students, schools administrators, civil society organizations and the Execuitve Director of YOCADS Alphonso K. Weah. For his part, the Executive Director of YOCADS encourage the students to be proactive in the advocacy against the commercialization in any form or manner. He further said that, students are not alone because the International Day of Action against the Commercialization of education is being observe mostly by students in at least 20 countries including Liberia.

Participants of the protest request that, considering the slogan of the event that says " One World - One Struggle, Education is NOT For Sale", awareness against the commercialization should be a continuous process which they believe will stop acts against the less fortunate ones around the world.

Activists in Germany called activists in Liberia during the protests, but unfortunately the line was cut in the middle.


In spite of bad weather, around 1.500 Croatian students protested for free university education in Zagreb. Protests also took place in the town of Pula where approximately 500 students gathered. In Zagreb, the protest began at the Faculty of philosophy. From there the protesters went together towards the center of the town. The banners featured were: "One world – One struggle, Education is not for Sale"; "EUtanasia of education"; "You have nothing to lose except tuition fees!"; "Profit =/= progress, privatization = robbery"; "Knowledge is not a comodity"; "neoliberalism out of the university"; "money for education, not for war" etc. The next stop was the museum of Mimara were the students of the Faculty of philosophy, which were the majority, met other students. There chanting began, a few ad hoc slogans were coined, and the president of one of Croatian labour unions spoke supporting our claims. The demands were: free education for all (today, almost 60% of students pay their own fees) and more finance for universities. The demands were directed to the government of Croatia and Croatian parliament. The protest was peaceful and with no incidents but very noisy - there were lots of slogans, singing and shouting. Everybody agrees that the atmosphere of the protest was very nice indeed. The slogan most often chanted was, of course: "free education". The next stop was the house of the rectorate of Zagreb. There, one of the student leaders and organizers of the protest spoke demanding universal free education (including postgraduate studies) followed by loud cheering of the participants. The names of all other countries where the protests were organized were mentioned and greeted. After that students went to the Upper Town to the St. Catherine's Square where the main rally was to be held. The line of students chanting through the city was really impressive. The St. Catherine's Square was chosen because it is very close to the St. Mark's Square where the Croatian Government building is, which is forbidden for protests (though not for George Bush when he was in town recently). There, one of the other organizers spoke and the protest was over with a short concert by drummers and a rap singer. All in all, the protest went on for approximately three hours. This is not the end of the actions of Croatian students in their fight against neoliberalism at the university. The protest was judged by all to be very successful, the students were all very satisfied and it was covered very well by the media (including the main news of the national TV-station). The biggest accomplishment of all was probably the fact that the possibility of free university education is now back in the public discourse. Up till recently it was not even mentioned as a real possibility. Now it is back with vengeance.

News reports with pictures and video clips:,11,5,,139857.jl (incl. video) (pictures) (more pictures)


In various cities across Germany students were protesting as part of the "International Day of Action against the Commercialization of Education".
Two demonstrations took place. One in Mannheim with about 600 participants, and another one in Düsseldorf with 300 demonstrators.

In Marburg students arranged a RECLAIM party with about 250 people. After partying for two hours hundreds of students spontaneously occupied streets and went through the city armed with banners, fire crackers and electro-music. (pictures and videos still coming up)

In Heidelberg students held a rally at the city centre and displayed a huge banner saying "Kein Ausverkauf der Bildung" (Education is not for Sale!) at the castle, visible from most parts of Heidelberg.

In Hamburg a couple of students staged a sit-in at the office of the local Green party for a few hours. The Green party broke its promise to ban tuition fees when elected. The students called out to Liberia, Düsseldorf and Colombia to show some solidarity to other groups struggeling. After 3 hours and endless discussions, a delegation of the general meeting of the faculty of Pedagogics dropped by to show their support. They decided together they managed to make their point for the day and left the building together.

In Frankfurt/M an act of protest took place as well. Details coming up.


In Bangladesh the Bangladesh Students' Union (BSU) joined the international day of action agaist commercialisation of education in Dhaka university campus.
We organised a photography and cartoon display showing the local and international student movements from to 7.00 pm (Dhaka time).
We published a newsletter in Bengali where we wrote about the worldwide student movement, some local protests and why we are joined the day of action.
We arranged a documentary film show where we displayed the videos of different student movements, message of soliderity from croatia and the the film `SURPLUS' (7pm-Dhaka).
Teachers and students of different public and private universities joined with us and gave speech against commercialisation of education.
Hundreds of general students joined with us and raised their voice against commercialistion of education.
Our country is in a state of emerjency, so unfortunetly we couldn't arrange a rally.

U.S. of A.

Click on "Rally for Change in Education" to view the event in Kentucky Univerisity:


Activists in Austria gathered at the stock exchange in Vienna protesting against the chronically underfinanced education system and the many billions of euros currently spent on banks.


University students across England staged local protests against the top-up fee system of student finance.

The action comes ahead of a government review of tuition fees, which is expected some time next year. The action saw students stage a range of protests, from rallies to releasing helium balloons and from campaign buses to creating a fictitious wall or mountain of debt.

In the North East, students hung a banner from the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, spelling out the average student debt there - £25k.

President of Durham Students Union Andy Welch said students were angry about the situation.

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