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(en) Greece, Solidarity needed for the student uprising! Call to ACTION against the Education Ministers Summit in Athens (27/06/06)

Date Fri, 23 Jun 2006 23:52:22 +0300

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 doesn¢t 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 “the protests and the occupations are organised by a small manipulated
minority who cause trouble in the educational process”! 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 “we
continue the dialogue with the students” (!) … Indeed a “dialogue”
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 “dialogue” process included teargas, chemicals,
baton charges, mass beatings and more such “democratic arguments”.
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 dialogue…
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
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 “Meeting of OECD Education Ministers 2006”.
They will focus on “the purposes, governance, and sustainable provision of
higher education” and on “improving the quality, relevance and impact of
higher education”. In other words, they will make plans of how to make
education fully compatible to the needs and demands of the global capitalist
And let¢s not forget that the organisation of this Summit is Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that describes itself like
this: “The 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.” 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

PS: The map of the occupied departments all over Greece can be found here
and today reached the 429.

Please forward wherever you can this call to action...

ÁíôéåîïõóéáóôéêÞ Êßíçóç - ÓõíÝëåõóç Èåóóáëïíßêçò
Antiauthoritarian Movement - Assembly of Salonica

ÁíôéåîïõóéáóôéêÞ Êßíçóç
Antiauthoritarian Movement

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