Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2009

Solidarity with Croatia!

Protest in Leipzig, Germany

On 15th April students started to occupy parts of their university in Leipzig. The first two days were spent in the social science building, than when it became clear that the protest would continue, it moved to the recently opened university building at the city centre.

This is a summary of the basic aims of our protest, presenting three points that reflect the consensus of the protesters on content and methodology.


Protest Aims

The protesters aim to promote and push for a complete re-examination of education in a social context and of the “Bologna Process“ in particular, at all levels of decision-making, taking into account all social, ideological and material preconditions. To achieve this aim, the protesters are making use of all available opportunities for communication, action, networking and spreading information. The result of this change is left open and not specified by the protests because: 

The protesters aim to promote and push for the creation of grassroots democratic platforms for this re-examination, with an equal right to participate for all stakeholders. The platforms should have the power to make a final decision. Occupying a section of the New Seminar Building (NSG) is also the first step towards the creation of these platforms.

The protesters aim to contribute on an ongoing basis to the implementation of conclusions from the re-examination of the education system. 


Protest Actions

As German universities cannot completely change their normal routine, the protest chose a way to remain valid while the rest of the university carries on as usual.

The protesting students initiated campaigns like spamming lectures and classes with fake attendance lists to show the absurdity of the way in which students are now checked and graded on the amount of time they spend attending classes and lectures, rather than on the quality of their studies. The focus is increasingly on efficiency and organising education like a school.

600th Anniversary of the University of Leipzig

On 9th May the anniversary celebrations began and the protesting students read out an open letter demanding that the celebrations should be cancelled. Considering the general state of the university and the educational system, the protesting students reject the highly positive image that the university projects without any critical reflection.

Until now the university authorities have not made any statement.

Solidarity with Zagreb, Croatia

The protesters welcome and support any movements that want to work towards a critical examination of education, university and society. For this reason we are in solidarity with the occupation that started on 20th April in Zagreb, Croatia.

We understand that the occupation was suspended after 34 days so that political discussion and resistance could continue in other forms, and that this move reflects the complexity of a problem, which demands constant re-analysis and the political will not to passively accept existing conditions.

Every movement of this type shows the extent of this problem, which reaches across regional boundaries.

We wish you continued success in your protest, and we look forward to working together in the future.

In solidarity,

die ProtestlerInnen.                                         

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Montag, 25. Mai 2009


On the 15th of April students in Leipzig started to occupy a building of the university.

The reasons and topics of the protest are manifold: the introduction of tuition fees in other federal states and the threat this poses for free access to higher education, the introduction and realization of Bachelor/Master and overcrowded curricula and seminars are also discussed, the partially failed implementation of the transition phase for the old, still ongoing studies, the decline of solidarity among students and other protagonists of universities due to growing competition, precarious employment at the university and in student every day life, not supplied premises and the lack of a self-managed student area, the promised but still reduced mobility, the current MA/BA educational system, the increasing tendency of school-like university education, the economization of universities and commercialization of the campus, not least for the idea and in this regard the possibility of a better education system for the whole of society are precisely those reasons that can be considered as the causes for this protest. They are discussed, analyzed and systematized.

We are aware of the complexity of the problems that have been raised by our motives. That is why a deeper reflection of the overall context becomes necessary. Not only smaller problems, like course registers, but also larger processes in terms of their content, as for instance the realization of the Bologna process, will be addressed during our protest. Therefore, it becomes self evident that this protest does not constitute a loose conglomeration of societal problems and mutual recriminations. It rather can be seen as a chance for a productive understanding, commentation and action. As a deliberately communicative, peaceful, grass-root, and public protest, it constitutes an attempt to face problems in a critical and reflexive way. In this manner, we reject overhasty recriminations and claims inherently.

We will take time and room as long as we need it!