The following is an overview of activities linked to our worldwide struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education and for free emancipatory education during June 2012. It underlines the global nature of the struggle against symptoms of the currently dominating economic system, which unleashes its forces on all continents. Therefore the need to connect around the world to counter these developments and fight for a different education together is self-evident. Groups and activists worldwide are currently coordinating the first GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE (Oct. 18th + Nov. 14-21st 2012) in history. Get involved in the coordinations on the International Student Movement platform – no matter where you are!
Overview of education protests worldwide – June 10-15th 2012 (FLYER): archive.org (.pdf, 2.5MB)
-> simply print in duplex and fold in the middle.
A previous overview was also published for September 2011.
This page will be updated as the month continues. Latest news are always posted on the global ISM fb page.
Anything missing as part of the overview? Comments? Suggestions? Drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org ~
Thousands demonstrated across Israel, continuing their resurrection of the social protest movement that rocked the country last summer.
Protesters in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the northern city of Haifa chanted slogans including “The only solution to privatisation is revolution”.
According to public radio, police were told to be on their guard following accusations of excessive force at similar protests in Tel Aviv last weekend. Eighty-five people were arrested overnight on June 23 following the detention of Dafni Leef, one of the leaders of the 2011 movement.
Protestors want the costs of food, housing and education to come down.
More than 100,000 students and workers packed La Alameda, in the capital Santiago (Chile) demanding free education for all during a cold and rainy day. 472 protesters were detained.
Supporters of a sit-in at Lakeview elementary school and others protesting cuts from the Oakland Board of Education protested at the board’s meeting and held a “People’s Board of Education Meeting” discussing their vision for Oakland (U.S.A.) schools.
Much of the protest focused on cuts to the district’s budget for special education students. The cuts came as the school board faces statewide cuts to public education.
Tens of thousands of teachers in New South Wales (Australia) took strike action to resist cuts in public education and turning schools into companies managing and generating their own funds (often sold as ‘more autonomy’ everywhere around the world). Sydney Town Hall was packed, with thousands more in the square outside, and tens of thousands at meetings across the state.
Tacloban (Philippines): Hundreds of students from the University of the Philippines-Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC) protested against the proposed budget cut on tertiary public education in 2013.
News from Oakland (California, U.S.A.):
A march and rally was held to protest the closure of the Lakeview Elementary public school at the Oakland Unified School District. The Oakland Unified School District administration plans to close five schools while new charters are being opened in the district. The Oakland Education Association stated it’s support of the sit-in by activists and a peoples school has been established.
News from Ahascragh (Ireland): A principal who spent years looking for extra resources for her dilapidated school resigned, saying she can no longer fight a system that won’t listen.
Yea, no point in fighting ‘the system’ by talking to it anyway.
After two weeks of relative calm, tens of thousands of students were back on the streets of Quebec to protest tuition fees and state repression.
A demonstration in Montreal drew up to 100,000 people, while another 20,000 protested in Quebec City, according to activists on the ground.
Student Zombie March in New York (U.S.A.): ‘The Night of The Living Debt’.
Students met in Washington Park and marched through lower Manhattan to protest rising tuition costs and Congress’ plan to double interest rates on student loans on July 1.
source: activists on the ground (facebook)
In some parts of the world students even have to pay for so called “common admission forms” (not including tuition fees).
In reaction for example activists of the Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) in India went on a five-day-long hunger-strike to demand that online registration for students is made free of charge.
Two student union members had to be hospitalised on the fifth day of the strike.
Calling for a higher budget for education and the regulation of tuition and other fees increase, multi-sectoral groups in Davao City (Philippines) launched the Education for All campaign with a series of protest actions in front of government agencies.
The protesters staged a rally in front of the offices of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Commission on Higher Education (Ched).
In the struggle against the increasing privatization of education and for free education around 5,000 high students took to the streets in Santiago (Chile). The protest was organized by the National Confederation of Secondary Students (CONES). Dozens of high school students were detained.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) threatened mass protests should Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant go ahead with a proposed move to shut down 27 schools in the province.
Lecturers and students marched on Holyrood (Scotland) to protest cuts in college funding.
Seattle (U.S.A.): People protesting crushing student debt were arrested by police for walking on the street and blocking traffic without a permit.
A local group calling itself SOS (Save Our Schools) Hamilton (Canada) gathered in front of the board’s Education Centre to protest the board’s recent decision to close eight high schools and potentially build three new ones.
A protest was held at Stormont (Northern Ireland, UK) over plans to close a County Fermanagh school and merge it with two others.
Students at La Trobe University in Melbourne (Australia), have launched a fightback against cuts to the Humanities and Social Sciences Department. The cuts would lead to course closures, and the loss of up to 40 jobs.
University administration is arguing that cuts are necessary, claiming there is a hole in the Humanities and Social Sciences budget.
Full fee paying graduate places are set to increase and undergraduate degrees become more general in the style of the Melbourne Model. Faculties are under pressure to generate funding revenue through a combination of this research output and high student intake.
In response, the La Trobe Student Union called a demonstration as the University Council met to discuss the cuts. Yesterday’s lively demonstration saw students march on the council meeting.
The march was loud and defiant. Chants included: “Bullshit! Come off it! Our education is not for profit!”
On arrival, the protesters managed to gain entry to and occupy the council’s meeting room. The council meeting was forced to abandon the boardroom and meet on the other side of campus.
The demonstration was just the beginning of a campaign against cuts, with students deciding to hold a meeting to discuss further action and continue to take a stand for quality education at La Trobe.
News from Tijola and Vera (Spain): Teachers from secondary schools Alto Almanzora de Tíjola and El Palmeral de Vera, spent the night locked in their respective buildings in protest at the cuts made to public education. The protests began at six o’clock in the evening and lasted throughout the night.
In Toronto (Canada): “We’re trying to raise awareness about the cuts in education,” said Rauli, an elementary school teacher at Lescon Public School in Toronto who didn’t want her last name used. She sat grading student papers in the hot sun, while her two kids, 8 and 10, sat in the nearby shade of an overhanging sign.
Rauli said schools are overwhelmed by cuts, including ones to education assistants, special needs assistants and secretaries.
Sit-in staged by protesting teachers and parents in Oakland (U.S.A.): “Some Oakland students are saying goodbye forever to their schools because they’re being shut down. It was a sad moment, but also prompted a protest. Four Oakland schools will not reopen next year, but parents and teachers at Lakeview Elementary say they’re not leaving and plan on setting up tents and staying on school grounds all night to protest the closures.”
Hundreds of protesters greeted Premier Ted Baillieu as he arrived in Ballarat (Australia): Angry TAFE students and staff staged a protest at Lydiard St, Ballarat, in response to cuts to student and staff numbers – as well as the potential for more than 1000 job losses across the state.
Up to 60 courses could be cut at the University of Ballarat after a $20 million funding cut put its arts school and business and racing certificates at the university’s Horsham campus in the gun.
“Education is being treated like a product, a commodity. Education should be an ongoing process rather than a product which can be sold or received.’’
In solidarity with Quebec students, protesting University of Toronto (Canada) graduate Michael held up a “no” sign at his convocation ceremony and refused his bachelor of arts degree. He said university education is becoming elitist and exclusionary with “only certain people able to afford it.’’
While legislative leaders met behind closed doors to hash out the final elements of the state education budget, hundreds of parents, children, and laid-off teachers staged protests over proposed school cuts at several locations in the Capital city Harrisburg (U.S.A.).
Class opening at the University of the Philippines Los Banos was welcomed with a rally demanding the immediate proclamation of University Student Council-UPLB (USC-UPLB) Chairperson-elect Ynik Ante and “challenging Iskolars ng Bayan to respond on ‘education crisis’ aggravated by continuous cutbacks on education budget.”
Some 300 UPLB students distributed flyers to the new students during the annual breakfast treat, followed by a program at the College of Arts and Sciences steps and a protest march from UPLB to Junction, Los Banos, Laguna.
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) in Nigeria condemned the closure the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) and suspension of leaders of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU). Six other union leaders were also put on indefinite suspension.
The two unions – SSANU and NASU – are demanding payment of hazard allowance to members. According to the workers, it was the fact that the University authorities reneged on earlier promises to pay that forced workers to down tools and protest.
Report has it that the University authorities are also threatening to discipline other members of staff who refuse to work. This strong-arm tactics is meant to force workers to accept a situation where they work without full payment of their benefits including hazards.
News from Oakland (U.S.A.):
As 5 elementary schools are set for closure at the end of this school year, displacing around 900 children to schools 10 miles away with no transport provided, parents and teachers announce plans to sit-in to save their schools.
About 100 Staples High School students stepped into the debate over Connecticut‘s (U.S.A.) new education reform law, staging a demonstration before morning classes to voice concerns about the act’s reliance on standardized test results to evaluate teachers.
Standardised evaluations and rankings are essential elements when it comes to establishing education markets.
As reported by activists on the ground on social networks around 5,000 students took to the streets in Chittagong (Bangladesh) to resist conditions at the chronically underfinanced National University.
The struggle against tuition fees and repressive policies continued in the streets of Montreal (Quebec, Canada) during the last day of the Grand Prix. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protests. Around 30 protesters were arrested. Several police cars were reportedly vandalized as protesters covered vehicles with graffiti and broke windows.
Parents, students and a few teachers protested on the Park Strip along Minnesota Drive with a potpourri of signs to put attention on teacher layoffs in the Anchorage School District in Alaska (U.S.A.).
A group of activists — protesting capitalism in general and tuition hikes in particular — tried their hardest to crash the party on the Montreal (Quebec, Canada) street most closely associated with this weekend’s Grand Prix.
A brief but intense struggle with police erupted when the demonstrators tried to force their way onto the crowded street.
Police pushed them back swiftly with a heavy dose of pepper spray, arresting several protesters by throwing them violently to the pavement. In all, 39 people were arrested at various demonstrations during the day.
An estimated 25,000 public school teachers in the state of Victoria (Australia) went on strike and about 200 primary and secondary schools were closed.
The stoppage was over a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) being negotiated between the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the state government. The government wants to impose a 2.5 percent annual pay deal—a cut in real wages—make teachers work longer hours, introduce so-called merit pay, and tie annual salary increments to other “performance” benchmarks. These demands have a provocative character, and have fuelled the anger among teachers that was evident in the industrial action.
Parents protested high school fees in Chennai (India).
R Mohan, president of the Tiruvallur district wing of the Uzhaipor Urimai Iyakkam, said most of the students of the school come from low income families. “If the fee is raised by even a few hundred rupees, it becomes unaffordable for parents. If there is a delay in paying the fees, the children are forced to stay at home for a few days, after which they lose interest in going to school and drop out altogether. It’s happened in many families,” Mohan said.
The Presidential Boad of the so-called Free University (FU) of Berlin (Germany) temporarily looked like a besieged fortress: Several hundred students rushed to the entrance to get inside the building. Why? A new framework of examination regulations, which the Board drafted without the inclusion of student committees, 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”.
To discuss this issue around 700 students gathered for a general assembly. They passed a letter directed at the university administration demanding round table talks followed by a rally.
source with more details: ism-global.net
Hundreds of students blocked streets in Auckland (New Zealand) in the struggle against cuts in education and allowances.
News from Oregon University in Portland (U.S.A.):
The recent approval of a tuition increase proposal for the 2012-2013 school year has University students upset. A group called the Tuition is Too Damn High Coalition marched on Johnson Hall, chanting “no cuts, no fees, education must be free” and demanded an audience with interim president Robert Berdahl.
Parents protested cuts in education in Harrisburg (U.S.A.).
More than a dozen people spoke during the rally, addressing their opposition to education cuts and the elimination of art, music, physical education and library classes for the district’s elementary school students, and cuts to foreign language and technology classes at the district’s two middle schools.
The school district is calling these proposed cuts its curriculum realignment plan.
On May 17, the faculty from Brazilian federal universities started a strong strike which is currently affecting about 50 institutions around the country, and it is already one of the biggest strike movements of recent years in the university education sector.
Entities such as Andes-SN, Fasubra (Federation of Unions of Workers of Brazilian Public Universities) and ANEL (National Student Assembly-Free) called for a National March in favor of improvements in education in Brasilia today. It was attended by around 15,000 people. Their demands include the allocation of 10% of GDP to education.
The annual Grand Prix opening day in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) was cancelled due to the ‘threat’ of tuition fee protests.
Activists of the National Students Federation staged a sit-in against the proposed cuts in allocation for education sector in the federal budget for the next fiscal year in Lahore (Pakistan).
Led by NSF Punjab President Arfan Chaudhry, the protesters demanded that education budget should immediately be revised and set at eight per cent of the GDP. He said there was no justification for defence spending to be 10 times more than that for education, and about 80 times more than that for healthcare.
Dozens of students of the National University took to the streets in Port City, Chittagong (Bangladesh) to protest the underfunding of education (and want 25% of the annual state budget for education) as well as for more teachers and halls!
This was a warm-up demonstration. The activists call for a larger students rally in Chittagong on 10th of June 2012.
source: reported by activists on the ground via social networks
Hundreds of students took to the streets of Auckland (New Zealand) to protest cuts in education – just like others around the world. Protesters brought parts of the capital to a standstill as they blocked main roads and were chased by police. 43 people were arrested.
A 12-year-old initiated a protest after she heard that teachers were to be layed off at Sutter Middle School in Sacramento (U.S.A.). The Sacramento School District (as well as other school districts in California) is preparing to lose tens of millions in state funding.
video report: fox40.com
♥ Guerrilla Theatre Action welcomes “new customers” at the University of California in Davis (U.S.A.):