News

FRIDAY, June 3rd, 2011

March 2011 will be remembered as the month when Croatia was rocked by a wave of anti-government protests that displayed clear anti-capitalist sentiments. The protests were held in almost every larger city every two or three days, and the biggest ones in Zagreb were attended by 10 000 people. Even though they did not accomplish their goal – the overthrow of the government – they might be a sign that the people will no longer accept the ruling class that works against the people’s interests. Read the whole report by Drago Markiša.


THURSDAY, June 2nd, 2011

The 1st Balkan Regional Meeting was held in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, from April 16th to April 18th. Activists from several groups in the region got together to discuss the problems which their struggle faces in their native countries. You can read a short report of the meeting here.


MONDAY, April 11th, 2011

Over the past month dozens of anti-government protest marches have been held in several Croatian cities. Organized through a Facebook page, at the begining the protests were held every two days, and later twice a week. While some protests have gathered only several hundred citizens, others have gathered several thousands; althogether, it can be said that more than 50,000 people have so far protested in Zagreb only. The reasons behind this wave of public dissatisfaction are contemplated in two new texts we’ve added to the Articles category: Toni Prug’s article entitled Croatia protests show failure of political promise, originally published at guardian.co.uk, and Marko Kostanic’s article Anti-Government Protests in Croatia: Changing Politics, originally published at www.socialistproject.ca.


SUNDAY, January 16th, 2011

Few months ago, Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports proposed new legislation concerning higher education, universities and science, which met with widespread opposition from members of the academia who viewed it as deeply flawed and harmful for Croatian science and education, as well as society in general. Now some members of the academic community are calling for a strike to express opposition to the proposed draft acts. Read more here.


TUESDAY, January 4th, 2011

A new addition to the Articles category: the English translation of an article by Mate Kapović, assistant professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and activist. In his article, Kapović provides a detailed and informative account of the struggle for free education and the development of the student movement in Croatia over the past two years. You can read it here.


SUNDAY, December 26th, 2010

Last week, students in Croatia organized actions to express solidarity with their colleagues in UK and Italy who are protesting against tuition fee hikes and education cuts. In several Croatian cities, the students placed banners on prominent public and academic sites to alert the public of the continuing student struggle against the growing commercialization of education. You can see some photos here.

UPDATE: The students have also issued a statement of solidarity, you can read it here.


TUESDAY, November 30th, 2010

On October 12th the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports has revealed new education legislation that is intended to replace the current 2003 Science and Education Bill. In the 13-day period the Ministry has allowed for public comments, more than 1000 comments from over 100 institutions were sent to the Ministry, criticizing the proposed legislation. The new legislation would take away university autonomy, eliminate the elected body that oversees research ethics, impose rigid employment quotas that might delay the scientists’ progress in their careers by up to 10 years, and implement other changes that, critics believe, would have a seriously negative impact on science and higher education in the country. Read more.


MONDAY, May 17th, 2010

SkriptaTV & Slobodni Filozofski present a video of the panel The Collapse of Neo-liberalism and the Idea of Socialism Today held during the Subversive Film Festival 2010 in Zagreb (Croatia). The participants of the very lively discussion were Samir Amin, Michael Lebowitz, Slavoj Žižek and Mikhail Ryklin. Watch the video here.


WEDNESDAY, May 12th, 2010

The plenum of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences expresses full support to and solidarity with students and faculty who are opposing the cutting of the philosophy programs at the Middlesex University. You can read the plenum’s full statement here.


SATURDAY, May 8th, 2010

New text posted in the Articles section: Toni Prug’s overview of the student occupations in Croatia in 2009. The piece was originally published in Radical Philosophy, a journal of socialist and feminist philosophy. You can read it here.


FRIDAY, December 18th, 2009 – The Occupation Cookbook

The Occupation Cookbook is a “manual” that describes the organization of the 35-day student occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences that took place in the spring of 2009. It was written for two major reasons: to record what happened, as well as to present the particular organization of this action in such a way that may be of use to other activists and members of various collectives if they decide to undertake a similar action. The manual will be translated into English and other languages, and posted on this web site. Read more.


FRIDAY, December 5th, 2009 – occupations ended in Pula and Zagreb

Today students at the University of Pula voted to end the occupation of their university. This evening the same decision was made at the plenary session held at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The occupations both in Pula and in Zagreb have come to an end after nearly two weeks.


WEDNESDAY, December 2nd, 2009

Students at the Faculty of Political Sciences voted on November 30th to end the occupation of their faculty which had started on November 24th. On December 1st they, together with students from other faculties, held a protest in front of the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. You can view the photos from the protest here.


WEDNESDAY, November 25th, 2009

At today’s plenary session at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, the students have voted to occupy their faculty and completely obstruct the classes. Also joining the occupations are the students of the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka – they too have decided to occupy their faculty at today’s plenary session. Read here the current situation in Croatia regarding institutions occupied by students.

Some photos from the first day of the occupation at the the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb are available here.


TUESDAY, November 24th, 2009 – Further occupations in Zagreb and Split

At the assembly held today at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb the students voted to occupy the Faculty and obstruct the classes. Thus they have joined their colleagues who are occupying the Unversity of Pula, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb in fighting for free, publicly funded education for all students. Meanwhile, at the plenary session held this afternoon at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, the students decided that tomorrow they will occupy one of the Faculty’s lecture halls at noon, and immediately after hold a plenary session at which they will decide on the continuation of the occupation.


MONDAY, November 23rd, 2009 – UPDATE – Students vote to occupy the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb

At the plenary session held today at noon at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb the students have voted to occupy the faculty building in the same manner as it was done in the spring, when the occupation of the faculty lasted for 35 days. That means the faculty building will be open for anyone to enter; cafeteria, bookstore and other facilities withing the building will be open; teachers will be allowed to hold consultation hours but lectures will be obstructed and instead of them students will organize their own, alternative, educational programme, consisting of movie screenings, public discussions, workshops etc. The Plenum of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb has issued a press release today, you can read the English translation here.


MONDAY, November 23rd, 2009 – Occupations in Pula and Rijeka and activities in other cities

Since this morning, the University of Pula has been occupied by the students. The largest lecture hall at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka has also been occupied since this morning – in order to stop the occupation the acting dean has disconnected the internet connection in the occupied lecture hall and announced that security guards will be checking the identities of students before tonight’s plenary session. Meanwhile, at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb the students have taken the largest lecture hall at noon. A plenary session, at which it will be decided whether they will occupy the faculty building or will some other means of continuing the fight for free education be undertaken, is currently in progress. At the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split a plenary session will be held tomorrow evening at which it will be decided on the possible occupation of the faculty. Read more.


WEDNESDAY, October 28th, 2009 – Letter of support to students in Austria

Since last week, students at the University of Vienna have been occupying their university, and students in several other cities in Austria have since joined them with similar actions of protest. This now widespread movement started a week ago when students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna decided to protest against the introduction of the Bologna system at their faculty and the announced budget cuts, and has since spread to other parts of the University as well as to other universities in the country. The Plenum of the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb expresses solidarity with and support for the struggle of their Austrian colleagues – read the letter of support here.


FRIDAY, October 23rd, 2009 – An update on the situation in Croatia

In Croatia, the spring of 2009 was a spring of a great student revolt. It all started on April 20 at the beginning of the international “Reclaim your education – Global week of action 2009″ when the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb was occupied. It remained occupied for another 35 days. During the height of the protest, around 20 faculties and universities in 8 Croatian cities (Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Osijek, Split, Pula, Varaždin, Slavonski Brod) were occupied – all under a common international slogan “One world – one struggle. Education is not for sale”.

The demand was simple: free education available to all on all levels (including postgraduate studies) immediately. The students got a lot of support from all strata of Croatian society and became a respectable political force fighting not only against the commercialization of education but also for the protection of social rights in general. There have been some attempts to engage in a wider front with workers and peasants but this still remains an important task for the future.

During the protests general assemblies called plenums emerged on the faculties. All decisions during the faculty occupations were made by the method of direct democracy. This proved to be one of the sources of students’ great political strength and it has also been one of the maintained legacies of the spring revolt. Regular plenums are still being held in different universities and they maintain to be political organs of students fighting for free education.

Currently, the government is preparing a new law on higher education for which it is clear in advance that it will not be what the students want (in a pre-revolt poll 76% of Croatian students expressed the opinion that the education should be completely publicly financed). That is why the students are already preparing for the inevitable upcoming battles. In Zagreb, during the weekend of October 23-25 a mega-meeting of the Croatian student activists will be held. There, the students from all over the country will discuss the problems of the commercialization of education and possible actions for the future (ie. possible occupations of the faculties this autumn).

It is difficult to say what lays ahead but one thing is certain. The fight has only begun.


SATURDAY, October 10th, 2009

At the last plenary session at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, held on October 6th, the students were informed that the famous French philosopher Alain Badiou, who was supposed to come to Zagreb and meet with the students on October 16th, has fallen ill and will not be able to come after all. The plenum has decided to write a letter to Mr Badiou wishing him to get well soon and expressing desire to welcome him in Zagreb some time in the future. You can read plenum’s letter to Alain Badiou here.

At the same plenary session, the students discussed recent events at the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, during which a large number of the University of Pittsburgh’s students found themselves seriously mistreated by the police, exposed to sound cannons, tear gas and arrested even though they did nothing but stood in the streets. The plenum has written a letter of support to Pittsburgh students, condemning the actions of the police, you can read the letter here.


THURSDAY, October 1st, 2009

We have heard about the massive protest that was held at the University of California last week, by which students, teachers and workers sought to express their strong opposition to the measures the university and state authorities have proposed for dealing with the financial crisis: budget cuts, layoffs, reducing the number of enrolled students and raising tuition fees. We’ve learned about the occupation at the University of California Santa Cruz that ensued, and would like to express our strongest support to those students, as well as everyone else at UC. We have written a statement of solidarity and sent it to students at UCSC, you can read it here.


SUNDAY, September 27th, 2009

The 46th plenary session at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences was held on September 22nd. Read the report from it here.

The International Students Movement has drawn up the international petition for free and emancipatory education. Read full text of the petition here.


SUNDAY, September 20th, 2009

As part of the Omnibus for direct democracy, which visited Zagreb last weekend, on September 11th and 12th, the students performed the “5 do 12″ mini action at the main city square. See photos of the event here.


TUESDAY, September 15th, 2009

The 45th plenum was held yesterday at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. The students discussed a number of topics, and reviewed several events of the past few days in which students participated. Read the full report here.


WEDNESDAY, September 9th, 2009

Feeling the need to react to certain speculations in the media regarding whether the students will participate in the organization of the upcoming citizen protest initiated by the Croatian Trade Union Association, the Plenum issued a press release yesterday evening. Read the English translation of it here.


TUESDAY, September 8th, 2009

The 44th student plenum was held yesterday evening at its usual location in lecture hall no 7, at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. The students discussed a number of topics, such as this Saturday’s street performance which will take place as part of the Omnibus for Direct Democracy forum, the upcoming protests organized by the Croatian Trade Union Association, the making of the student radio show to be broadcast on Radio SC, and others. Read more.


MONDAY, September 7th, 2009

As we have already reported, the sociology students’ club Discrepancy will be hosting a student symposium at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. The symposium, entitled “Student protests of 2009: Methods, Context and Implications”, will be held on November 13th – 15th. The deadline for submitting abstracts (up to 250 words) is extended to October 1st. The official language of the symposium is English. For more information about applying and participating, please see this page.


THURSDAY, September 3rd, 2009

Yesterday the students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb held the 43rd plenary session, the first one after the summer break, at which they discussed a number of organizational issues, the student symposium that is being organized by the Sociology students, the plenum’s’ participation in the Omnibus for Direct Democracy panel and the upcoming protests that are being planned by the Croatian Trade Union Association. Read more.


SUNDAY, August 30th, 2009

Leonardo Kovačević, philosopher and translator, wrote an insightful analysis of the student protests in Croatia which sets the protests within the context of the Croatian political and media environment. We have posted on our website both the English version of his article, entitled A Five Weeks Introduction to Democracy, as well as the German translation: Eine Einführung in die Demokratie in fünf Wochen.


SATURDAY, August 29th, 2009

The summer is over and autumn plans are starting to be made as the students return from their holidays. The students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences have already started meeting at various work groups to discuss the continuation of their struggle for the right to free education, and the first autumn plenum will be held on Wednesday, September 2nd. As usual, everyone is free to attend and participate in the plenum.


THURSDAY, August 27th, 2009

Recently, several students were guests at the Vienna-based Radio Orange where they discussed the student protests that happened in Croatia this spring. The interview was conducted by Meena Lang and was broadcast as part of the Bewegungsmelder Kultur show entitled “Arbeit, Arbeit, Kulturarbeit – prekär oder fair?” The interview is in English while the rest of the radio show is in German. You can go here to download it (click on “Download” in the left panel, and then click the download button on the page that opens) – the student protests are discussed in the second part of the show, which starts around the 16th minute, the interview begins around the 18th minute.


WEDNESDAY, August 5th, 2009

A new article is posted in the Articles section, written by Paul Stubbs of the Institute of Economics in Zagreb and originally published in the Review of Social Policy. You can read it here.


THURSDAY, June 18th, 2009

At the last plenary session on Thursday, June 11th, the students at the Facutly of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb decided to show their support and solidarity with the Bildungsstreik protest this week happening in Germany. Read more.


TUESDAY, May 26th, 2009

The students have recently received a letter from Novosibirsk expressing support for the student actions. This is the reply that was sent to them:

The independent student initiative would like to thank our friends from Novosibirsk for their support and concern for our fight. We will gladly send more detailed information and pictures for your newspaper “Student City”. We urge young artists who, as you say, face a kind of prosecution over in Novosibirsk to send, if possible, their work related to this movement or other social issues and we will try to publish or display it here and in our partner universities in the country.

We use this opportunity to call for everyone outside of Croatia who have been following up on our fight to join our list of foreign contacts. Our occupation ended for tactical purposes but our campaign is just beginning and knowing that commercialization of education is a global issue we would like to communicate and cooperate with students in the same situation.

One world one struggle. Education is not for sale.


SUNDAY, May 24th, 2009

After 34 days, at yesterday’s plenum the students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences have voted to suspend the occupation of the Faculty. Although the occupation is ending, that doesn’t mean this is the end of all actions. The students have decided to, temporarily, continue the fight by other means. The plenum will continue to meet – most likely at least once a week. The next session will be held on May 26th, at which students will discuss further actions. The plenum will leave the Faculty building and return the control of the building to the management by 10pm this evening. Read today’s Open letter to the public for more information.


SUNDAY, May 17th, 2009

Students are continuing the occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. Yesterday, the day before the local elections, they went on a protest march from the faculty building to the central square. Read more and view photos of the event.


MONDAY, May 11th, 2009

Students are still occupying the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. Since it is not possible to hold classes at the faculty, the Faculty Council decided to organize classes at alternative locations in the city. A number of teachers of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences met today to discuss the situation at the faculty. Read more.


SUNDAY, May 11th, 2009

The occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, which started on April 20th, still continues. It has been three weeks since the start of the occupation. This week, the University of Zagreb Senate has decided that, since it would not be possible to hold classes at the Faculty because they will be obstructed, the classes will be held at a number of other locations in the city. For that purpose they have ensured a number of classrooms and lecture halls at other faculties, where normal classes should start tomorrow for all students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students are not giving up the fight yet, and they still receive many letters of support from various organizations and different segments of society. This past week, many professors at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences also signed open letter of support for the students. Read more.


MONDAY, May 4th, 2009

Students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences are continuing with the occupation of their faculty. Today is the 15th day of the occupation, which started on Monday, April 20th. The Faculty Council voted today not to support the occupation any longer, although they have stated that they still support the demand for the right to free education for all. The Council asked the students to allow classes to resume, saying that it will provide ways to continue the protest by other means. Read more.


THURSDAY, April 30th, 2009

The University of Zagreb Senate met today at a session at which it decided to accept the conclusions of the Council of Rectors session held Tuesday. They do not support the students’ methods of actions and demand that normal classes be resumed at all occupied faculties as soon as possible.


WEDNESDAY, April 29th, 2009

Council of Rectors met yesterday at a session, at which Dragan Primorac, Minister of Science, Education and Sports, was also present. At the meeting they decided that they support the demand for the right to free education, but do not support the students’ actions and want the occupations of the faculties and universities around the country to end. However, the Council of Rectors said that it supports free education as long as it is based on the criteria of “successfulness”. They added that the classes at all occupied faculties must continue as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Council at a session today decided that it still supports the students and thier occupation. Read more.


MONDAY, April 27th, 2009

At the plenary session yesterday evening at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb, the majority voted to continue with the occupation of the Faculty . Students in Rijeka are also continuing with the occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka, while students in Split, who are currently occupying the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Split, have announced they will occupy two other faculties. Students in Varaždin have announced they will boycot their classes starting today at 2pm. Read more.


FRIDAY, April 24th, 2009

Students at the University of Split have started the occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.


THURSDAY, April 23rd, 2009

The occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb continues, as well as the occupation of the University of Zadar which started on Tuesday. Yesterday students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka held a plenary session and decided to block their faculty as well, and today afternoon the students at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb decided the same. As of today, students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek have also occupied their faculty, and will hold a plenary session this evening to decide what actions to take next. Meanwhile, students in Split are deciding what to do. Read more.


WEDNESDAY, April 22nd, 2009

The occupation at both the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb and the University of Zadar (where 3 buildings are blocked) continues, while students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka protest. This evening they will be holding a plenary session, at which they will decide whether to occupy their faculty. The Faculty Council of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb decided to support the students who are protesting against tuition fees and fighting for the right to free education by cancelling all the classes for the rest of the week.


TUESDAY, April 21st, 2009

The occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb continues; and since noon the University of Zadar is also occupied. Read more.


MONDAY, April 20th, 2009

Today at noon, the independent student initiative for the right to free education started a peaceful occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. The students demand the elimination of all tuition fees at all levels of higher education: undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate. Read more.