LATEST VERSION of the Joint Statement: HERE
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A "worldwide discussion paper" and months of exchange and discussions later the following statement is ready.
It can also be downloaded as a .pdf here - ready to be printed and distributed.
for the "Global Wave of Action for Education" this fall
Around the world students, pupils, teachers, parents and employees have been protesting against the increasing commercialisation and privatisation of public education, and fighting for free and emancipatory education in the past decade.
This year will see people unify this struggle on the international and global level for the "Global Wave of Action for Education".
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. We strive for structures based on direct participation and non-hierarchical organisation through collective discussion and action. Anyone who identifies with the struggle against the privatisation of public education, and for free and emancipatory education can join and participate on as well as shape the platform!
Some of us have already met and networked during the following occasions: 10 years of "Bologna-Process" in Louvain la Neuve (Belgium) on April 25-29th 2009, G8 University Summit in Torino (Italy) on May 17-19th 2009, Bologna Burns in Vienna (Austria) on March 11-14th 2010, Bologna keeps on Burning in Madrid (Spain) on April 8-14th 2010 and the "European Education Congress" in Bochum (Germany) on May 25-30th 2010.
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 (like all other aspects of life)
→ (increasing) influence of business interests on basic budgets for public education
→ (increasing) budget cuts on public education worldwide
→ the "privatisation" of public funds with the subsidisation of private educational institutions
→ the commodification and exploitation of labor within educational institutions
We stand against the discrimination and exclusion within any educational institution based on:
→ socio-economic background (education systems are currently set up so that people with less money can't participate equally)
→ 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 have the tendency 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). On the basis of profitability, educational institutions and participants are deemed 'excellent' and often fulfill the criteria to receive additional public funding.
- 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 serve the individual's interest to be emancipated, that means: to be 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 of all public educational institutions, no matter if deemed profitable or not
→ all educational entities/institutions should be democratically structured (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 share our tactics, experiences in organizations, and theoretical knowledge to learn from each other. 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, 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 the statement above, pledge to spread it, and to get actively involved in the "Global Wave of Action for Education", as well as focus to increase networking efforts of 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
- Anakbayan, Philippines
- Anarchist Front, Republic of Macedonia
- AStA Marburg (student representative body of the Philipps University Marburg), Germany
- 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.
- Gruppo Italia Libera - Free Italy, Italy
- 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
- Movement for Social Justice - LENKA, Republic of Macedonia
- 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
- 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
- Sloboden Indeks (independent student movement), Republic of Macedonia
- Slobodni Filozofski (Free Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Zagreb) - international website, Croatia
- SprecherInnenrat Universität Regensburg, Germany
- STAND of Queens College, U.S.A.
- Stepping Stones Nigeria Child Empowerment Foundation (SSNCEF), Nigeria
- StuPa der katholischen Hochschule für Sozialwesen (= student parliament of the Catholic University for Applied Sciences), Berlin, Germany
- Student Government of Kennedy-King College Chicago Illinois (contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org (facebook), email@example.com (facebook)), U.S.A.
- Students Without Borders, Australia
- 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
- 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
- Angelina Marco, student at the University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus, Faculty of Education, Puerto Rico
- Anka Nowicka, member of Partia Kobiet, Aleksandrów Łódzki, Poland
- 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
- Jakob Jakobsen, professor, Funen Art Academy, Denmark
- 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
- 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
- Myron (Mike) Stagman, Dr. of English Lit., the FreeThinkers, United Kingdom
- Peter Babnik, student and teacher, University of Koblenz, Germany
- Peter Morgan, Otago University, New Zealand
- 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.
- 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
[List of links with theoretical text recommendations linked to the struggle for free and emancipatory education to be added soon! Suggestions can also be send to: email@example.com]