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.
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.
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.
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