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Call to against the education ministers in Athens (27/06/06)
26 jun 2006
June 21, 2006, Antiauthoritarian Movement

As you have probably heard the student uprising in Greece is still going on. Right now there are 415 University Departments occupied (in total there are 456 university departments in Greece). The university community is fighting back both previous laws, like the one for assessment and rating of universities that makes them to be antagonistic between each other and finally turns the universities into private companies who will compete in order to gain more funds from the state and especially from the global capital, and the new law which is following the directives of the Bologna Treaty of 1999 and the ongoing Bologna Process for the complete assimilation of the education environment into the global capitalist system.

The most important issues of the new law, which is not yet voted but the point is not even to be introduced for voting, are the following:

⢠The students must complete their studies in the period of N+N/2 years, where N equals the years of the program of studies usually 4 or 5. This means that a student who works and doesnât have enough time to study will be thrown out of university at some point⦠or a student who stops for personal or health reasons his/her studies (eg pregnancy) for some year(s) will not be able to continue later.
⢠The abolition of free booklets, books and generally education material.
⢠Abolition of the University Asylum, which was gained through social struggles, imprisonments and blood during the period of the Junta when the army and the police invaded the Polytechnic Department of Athens and killed many students. The Asylum prevents any repression force either state or private one to enter the grounds of any university owned property in order to ensure the freedom of the education process and generally the freedom of thought.
⢠The privatisation of the universities and the establishment of managers who control the economy and the pacts between departments and multinational companies.

All the above are the next step after the one about the assessment and rating of the universities. All these laws are the outcome of the neoliberal assault on all the levels of the social life today and on the level of Higher Education they inpired by the directives of Bologna Treaty. In some countries (like U.K.) this neoliberal assault has won a lot of ground and has completely destroyed the education process making them a cog in the capitalist machine, in other countries (like Greece) the social struggles have delayed this assault.

In Greece during May and June almost all of the university departments are squatted by tents of thousands of students. In some cities like Thessaloniki all the departments are occupied. There are protests and marches every week and some times even spontaneous marches take place. The general assemblies and the student marches are the bigger ones in the last decade. The big majorities of the students are autonomous and generally are not committed to any parties.

During the first four weeks of the mobilisations the state was declaring that âthe protests and the occupations are organised by a small manipulated minority who cause trouble in the educational processâ?! The arrogance and the lies of the Greek government, the only really manipulated one by the EU and global capitalist policies, caused even more anger among the student population and the marches became even bigger and more dynamic.

Then the answer from the lips of the state representative was that âwe continue the dialogue with the studentsâ? (!) ⦠Indeed a âdialogueâ? between the state and the students started in the streets of most greek cities and especially in Athens around the Ministry of Education and the Parliament. The âdialogueâ? process included teargas, chemicals, baton charges, mass beatings and more such âdemocratic argumentsâ?.

The state removed its democratic mask and revealed its true face of authoritarianism. Right now the government is making a final attempt to cool down the uprising by saying that they will not vote the law during the summer and that they will begin a true dialogueâ¦

Most of the students are not biting to such tricks and together with parts of the greek society who stand in solidarity to them, are continuing the mobilisations with the final objective to overthrow the new law.

Our movements are similar to the one of the students as we are aiming towards the connection of the student uprising with the workers struggles and the elevation of the student demands for free and public university into a society demand, as everyone and not just the students will be affected if the university becomes a puppet in the hands of capitalism.

The direct target is the creation of a big and militant protest on the 27th of June in Athens which will turn against the Summit of the Education Ministers of OECD. The so called dialogue of the state is just another trick to cool down the mobilisations as on the 27th and 28th of June 2006 the Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs is hosting in Athens the âMeeting of OECD Education Ministers 2006â?. They will focus on âthe purposes, governance, and sustainable provision of higher educationâ? and on âimproving the quality, relevance and impact of higher educationâ?. In other words, they will make plans of how to make education fully compatible to the needs and demands of the global capitalist regime.

And letâs not forget that the organisation of this Summit is Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that describes itself like this: âThe OECD produces internationally agreed instruments, decisions and recommendations to promote rules of the game in areas where multilateral agreement is necessary for individual countries to make progress in a globalised economy.â? The freedom of access to knowledge and the right for free education has nothing to do with the goals of this multinational capitalist organisation.

We make a call to action to all students, workers, and social fighters worldwide to either come here in Athens on the 27th of June, or to blockade or take over embassies, consulates or other buildings of importance for the Greek state!

Finally, we would like to start a dialogue towards the direction of organising a coordinated campaign against the neoliberal assault of global capitalism on education, and if it is possible the simultaneous detonation of a wave of mobilisation in as many countries as possible with the target of abolishing completely all the Bologna Treaty and the laws which were inspired from it. We believe that if the mobilisations will happen only on national level (different places and different periods) then the Bolgna Process will not stop and our struggle will not have such a big impact.


Greece 21/06/2006

Antiauthoritarian Movement

This work is in the public domain


Re: Call to against the education ministers in Athens (27/06/06)
27 jun 2006
TOT el suport des del moviment estudiantil català!!!!

la lluita estudiantil no s'atura!
Sindicato Sindicat