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(en) Poland, ozzip, WORKERS' INITIATIVE: We do not accept the divisions that break our solidarity - a speech from demonstrations [machine translation]

Date Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:46:55 +0300

We are publishing a speech by Rafal Jakubowicz from a demonstration held on 13 June 2018 in Poznan against the reform of the higher education system. ---- I represent the IPO Inter-enterprise Commission at the Theater of the Eighth Day, which supported the protests of students and employees of UAM and, above all, students and employees of UAP. I will say a few bitter words. I will not talk about the university in terms of "community", because we have proved many times that we are not, unfortunately, a community. I will not appeal to the university's ethos, because I can not see this ethos today. I will talk about the university as a workplace and about our employee interests that we must now defend. ---- Harry Cleaver wrote about the "school-as-factory", which can be a field of struggle and resistance. And this way of thinking about the university is close to me. In the 1990s, during the transformation period, the world of science abandoned the world of work. Academic intelligence has turned its back on workers hoping to rebuild the education industry. Either the world of work was ignored or it was emphasized that he should accept the changes. Academics defended civil liberties, but they did not support workers' rights of miners from restructured mines or SSE employees. The lecturers wanted to be seen as part of the elite as a state aristocracy. And from this position they approved the shock therapy - saying that it is necessary that there is no alternative to it. Academics justify growing social inequalities - treating them as necessary to bear the costs. costs which they did not have to bear themselves. They quashed workers' protests - as incomprehensible adventurism. They produced language, discourse, which contributed to the stigmatization of workers - as "claimants," "orphans after communism," "homo sovieticusów." The academic community, propagating the ideas of the free market, hoped that it would remain forever excluded from the brutal logic of capital.

Today, we see that it did not happen. But we still can not connect our own situation with the situation of the world of work and current class fights. We can not think about our work in terms of wage labor - that is why we often talk about the "mission" that we purport to fill out, demanding special privilege. Today, we are exactly in the place where formerly workers were restructured mines, steelworks and shipyards.

But we do not want to be treated as we allowed to treat employees in other sectors. We do not want our workplaces to be privatized as, for example, the Rzeszów-based Alima. Thanks to this reform, the reform of Gowin, which enhances control, we can, paradoxically, finally abandon the illusion that knowledge can be produced beyond the supervision of capital and we can become part of a wider field of class struggle. Because the reform will result in cost optimization, restructuring, reorganization, and extension of auditing methods management. So everything that has already met employees of most other sectors, and what is referred to as privatization.

In the scientific community in the 1990s a strong sense of elitism combined with class racism prevailed. This classicism usually manifests itself in situations when changes affect those university employees who are not perceived in the university staff category - that is, administration, porters and cleaners employed in the worst conditions, often by external companies. Their working conditions are the price that we were usually willing to pay in exchange for our lecturers - relative safety. The question is also the conformism prevailing at the university and the general agreement on feudal power relations, which is best seen in the example of the powerlessness which overwhelmed and paralyzed some student self-governments, distancing themselves in embarrassing statements from our protests. The mechanism of making academic careers causes that most of them try to subjugate, adapt and survive. In this context, the last days and today's event are truly exceptional and I'm happy to be able to participate in them together.

We must finally think in terms of employee categories. We can not allow ourselves to lose the remainder of our autonomy. And we have strength. Because, as Beverly Silver wrote, employees in the education sector play a key role in capital accumulation in the 21st century, as did textile workers in the 19th century or automotive industry employees in the 20th century. This time, however, we do not agree to the antagonistic environment of divisions for academic staff, administration and service staff, full-time and precarious employees - which break our solidarity. We are all part of the university as a "school-as-factory" and we want to influence our workplaces and the decisions that apply to us.

The reform is to introduce the University Councils. And I do not want for a moment in such a college council sat a businessman, for example, a furniture maker, or a bishop who is a bishop, and that they would jointly define the framework for the freedom of artistic expression.

Link to the Statement of the Presidium of the Interprovincial Committee of the OZZ Employee Initiative at the Eighth Day Theater in Poznan on support for protests against the reform of higher education:


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