What happened on June 16th - "Day of United Symbolic Actions"

An attempt to give an overview of the actions as part of the ...

Zadar (Croatia)

As a part of international student movement, and in the background of the „Day Of United Symbolic Actions“ one more time in the symbolic way we give voice to our resistance to any kind of commercialization of higher education. New models of scholarship participation are being set out without public discussion, and they show basic misunderstanding and ignoring of student requests for public financing of high education. Education is public social wealth, and not parasitism of society.

     We resist money punishing!

     In Solidarity,

     Indenpendent student initiative ZaDar

Dresden (Germany)

About 10,000 students, teachers, parents and workers joined a demonstration in Dresden against recently announced budget cuts. Organizers explicitly said, that his demonstration should also be seen as part of the "Day of United Symbolic Actions".

Kathmandu (Nepal)

The Worldwide Nepalese Students' Organisation (WNSO) arranged a program focussing on free and emancipatory education. It was a great success and also attended by activists of teacher and student unions.


Yogyakarta (Indonesia)

A group called PEMBEBASAN, which is organised in provinces across Indonesia also mobilised for actions in Yogyakarta and sent in the following report:

To All Who Fight for Free Education,

Here is the report in the local media in Indonesia as our participation on The Day of United Action, 16 June.

This action campaign about expensive education, and others raising price based on local situation Indonesia.

In Solidarity Movement,
Mutiara Ika (Chairperson of PEMBEBASAN)

E-mail: kn.pembebasan@gmail.com
page on facebook

TV news report:




Marburg (Germany)

Activists hung a giant banner (almost 10m long) outside the building complex of the "Institutes of Social Sciences", which is part of the University of Marburg. It shows the guy fawkes mask also known from the comic and movie "V for Vendetta" and asking everyone: "Global Wave of Action for Education - Are you ready for it?".

The whole action was supported by another huge yellow banner (5m long).

The video above was made by activists in Marburg, that's why most of the material used were recordings of the banner action.

Contact: kontakt@bildungsstreik-marburg.de
Homepage: www.bildungsstreik-marburg.de



Samara (Russia)

SAMARA, Russia -- About a dozen activists rallied on June 16 in central Russia to protest the "commercialization of education" in the country, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The demonstrators in Samara demanded that a new law "On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts to Develop the Legality of State Enterprises" be annulled. The law allows schools and other educational institutions to engage in some business activities.

Amnesty International member Nikolai Yelizarov said at the gathering that the law would lead to the total commercialization of schools in Russia.

"This protest is needed to stop extortion in schools," he said. "Teachers in schools make parents pay [money] on a regular basis. That has become the norm and, in some cases, parents have to pay schools on a monthly basis."

The demonstrators collected more than 2,000 signatures under a petition protesting the commercialization of the education system.

The protest was organized by the International Student Movement as a part of the international Day of Joint Symbolic Actions.

Source: rferl.org

St. Petersburg (Russia)

"Good day!
Thank you for your letter and film. I’ll put it in our sites.
And I send to you video http://vkontakte.ru/video2016644_145863704
and several photos from our action, which was arranged 16s June in St.-Petersburg. Unfortunately, we still couldn’t make a large-scale action and make a huge banner: there was a downpour and our group included only about ten people. And we worried the police too. But we hope, next times our attempt will be more successful.
Our contacts:
Web-site http://roditeli-rossii.ru/
(Sorry, this moment it have no English version, it is in the development.)
Web-group (in Russian analog of facebook) http://vkontakte.ru/club17057052
So, we are hoping, we will collaborate with you in future!
With the best wishes,

P.S.: And please, excuse me for my English! :)"


Manila (Philippines)

As part of the Day of United Symbolic Actions of the International Student Movement, the League of Filipino Students--one of the broadest and most active student organizations in the Philippines--together with other youth groups trooped to the house of president-elect Noynoy Aquino III to demand an emergency fund for education as the groups tactical call in the fight for free and emancipatory education! Here's the PR:

Youth to Noy: Commit Immediate Allocation of Emergency Fund to Education!

“As the ailing state of education worsens, we demand the Aquino administration to apply first aid—immediately allocate an emergency fund to education once he assumes presidency on July 1, 2010.”

This was the statement of Terry Ridon, national Chairperson of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), as LFS trooped to the Aquino residence in Times St., Quezon City to demand President-elect Aquino to categorically state that he will allocate an emergency fund to education without delay at the start of his term.

“Because the Filipino people suffer the severe effects of the sprawling economic crisis, more and more Filipino youth drop out and are unable to go to school each year. Paired with incessant budget cuts to education by the Arroyo administration in the last nine years, the education crisis looks close to rock bottom.”

Ridon added that in 2010, over 8 million youth are unable to enter school in the elementary and high school levels. To those who were able to enroll, they are greeted by classes in hallways and comfort rooms, classes with no teachers and rooms with no seats. In the tertiary level, state universities and colleges are likewise grossly underbudgetted and unable to provide quality education to students enrolled.

“This emergency fund is at once needed to alleviate current shortages; but as profound as the education crisis is, it is apparent that it will take more than an emergency fund to solve the crisis on the whole,” Ridon concluded.

Moscow (Russia)

The following report was sent in by e-mail:

Day of United Symbolic Actions in Moscow

On the 16th of June, Moscow joined the Day of United Symbolic Actions with a manifestation in the city center, near the monument of Marx and Bolshoi Theater. 30 participants constituted by a parents association, students, professors and left political activists, manifested against commercialization of public sphere, of secondary schools, universities, hospitals. There is a special reason, since a while, giving an acute sense to anti-commercial actions in Russia. In May 2010, an extensive set of amendments changed the Federal law which now destine the majority of public institutions to be transformed into commercially autonomous centers who should seek for external funding. Certain “weak” institutions, such as peripheral schools and universities, are condemned to be closed or fused. “Stronger” ones would get profit from their higher status and favorable location in order to provide finance from their ordinary public. That is from people's personal earnings and family savings.

These negative effects were articulated at the manifestation. A high significance was accorded to international solidarity which gives more chances to win over internationally held reforms. The manifestants protested against the new law and claimed to withdraw the reform. They explained the reason for the Day of United Symbolic Actions and distributed leaflets among the crowd including groups of pupils coming to the downtown with guided tours. The action was concluded with a round movement and chanting “Education is a right and not a service!”, “No to commercial education!”, “Knowledge is not a merchandise!”, “Reclaim your rights!”