Archive for the ‘english’ Category

Press release, November 23rd 2009

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Press release, 2009-11-23

The decision to begin again the occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb was not brought lightly. This decision is not a product of youthful love of adventure and irrational eagerness of those who made it. It is a direct consequence of the development of events since this spring’s suspension of the occupation. We have decided to take this action after much reflection. We are aware of what is at stake and of the weight of its implications, for us students as well as for the teachers and this school we have decided to occupy. We will try to briefly outline the circumstances that obliged us to act again. We believe this will make the decision to begin the occupation again more understandable to the general public. (more…)

The Occupation Cookbook or the Model of the Occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009


FORWORD by Boris Buden

The Plenum
The Working Groups and Teams
The Functioning of the Faculty during Student Control
Direct Democracy
The Independent Student Initiative and the Plenum


1. Introduction
2. The Plenum – How and Why?
3. Preparations
4. The Plenum in a Desert
5. Two Scenarios
6. The Beginning Was Successful, What Next?
7. The Question of Leadership and Relations with the Media
8. The Plenum: 1, 2, 3
9. Controversial Issues and the Function of Working Groups
10. The Conclusion


The Functioning of the Plenum


The Rules and Guidelines of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Plenum




Media Strategy
The Media Team and the Media Working Group


The Attack on Social Rights
The Meaning of Democracy


Press release, September 8th, 2009

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

During the past few days, there has been speculation in the media concerning whether the student plenum of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb will participate in the organization of the announced protests which have been initiated by the Croatian Trade Union Association (HUS). Unfortunately, when reporting the media did not always care to note the basic facts: representatives of HUS invited members of the Plenum on September 2nd to participate “as equals” in organizing the announced “citizen protests”. Seeing as the representatives of HUS where at that time unable to present the precise platform which was to be the basis of these protests, the Plenum concluded that it cannot commit to participate in the organization of the protests without prior knowledge of the programme and demands. It was agreed that HUS will invite the Plenum’s delegates to participate in the meetings of HUS’s expert work group which will draft the “guidelines for exiting the crisis”. This was set as the basic condition for considering possible cooperation. Plenum chose the delegates, and HUS promised to send an invitation for the meeting with their work group in time. (more…)

Open Letter to the Public, May 24, 2009

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Last night, after 34 days, the plenum decided to stop the occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. We are aware that it is a decision long wished for by many in the administrative and governing structures: from the Faculty level, through the University, to the Ministry and the Government. The public will undoubtedly have an opportunity to witness a showy triumphalism of those who have been declaring the action illegitimate, inarticulate and absurd from the very beginning. Those who have been refusing to acknowledge the purpose of the occupation explain its termination with the supposed fact that it „became an end in itself”. (more…)

PRESS RELEASE, 23rd May 2009 – 34th day of the occupation

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

It was reported today in the news that Minister Primorac visited the editorial board of Jutarnji list (Croatian daily newspapers) on May 5th, 2009. Mr. Primorac, who has kept quiet for a month on the occurrences on the faculties all over the country, has decided to deal with the issue secretly, demonstrating unprecedented contempt towards the public, his term of office, and the institution of the freedom of speech. The minister has tried to divert the public perception of the student protests to the only domain he can understand: the cynicism of court intrigues and clandestine maneuvers by instructing the editors to discard the previously written text and replace it with the Mr. Primorac’s truth that says that the students’ actions are a result of “the manipulations of SDP and HNS (Social Democratic Party and Croatian People’s Party)”. The fact that a daily newspaper, owned by the largest media concern in the country (EPH), has on Mr. Primorac’s request readily imposed self censorship is a worrying indicator of its social role. (more…)

Press release, May 22nd, 2009 – 33rd day of the occupation

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

We are approaching the end of the fifth week of the occupation. What we have been witnessing this week is an attempt by the champions of media-political normality to newly establish that normality. The minister who has been silent for a month appeared on the front page of an influential weekly, in a pose of fatherly benevolence, with arms wide open. Columnists and commentators of everything and nothing have offered themselves publicly as mediating instances between the Ministry and tongue-tied students who didn’t prove themselves adequate to recognize the right moment to give up their declared principles and switch to backroom licitations. (more…)

Press release, May 17th, 2009, 28th day of the occupation

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Yesterday was the day of pre-election silence in anticipation of the local elections. The fact that political parties are obliged to discontinue with mutual heckling and rhetorical rivalry on the day before the elections serves as an indicator of democratic maturity of all those involved. A day of law-imposed forbearance is seen as a threshold separating a regular democratic procedure from mere manipulation. (more…)

Press release, May 14th 2009 – 25. day of the occupation

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

There have recently been complaints that the independent student initiative for free education is becoming stagnant. This implies that our inititiative needs to be justified over and over again, in order to create the illusion of progress, as if the right to free education was not a legitimate social and political goal in itself. There have also been complaints that we have erected a wall around us, disabling all attempts of communication. In fact, it is just the opposite; we have not erected a wall, but simply made it visible. Not even a series of outbursts of feigned cooperativeness on the part of the Ministry of Education can cover up the fact that the nominal representatives of the public interest fail to understand and take into consideration our request, which cannot be reduced to the extent proscribed by the bureaucratic elite. (more…)

Press release, May 13th 2009 – 24. day of the occupation

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

The farce of holding classes on “alternative locations” has been revealed in its utter absurdity. First of all, it has come to our attention that the faculty administration has spent an enourmous amount of rent money on these locations, for the sole purpose of convincing the authoritites and that part of the public allegedly not immune to their lies that things are back on track in the academic world. (more…)

Press Release, May 12th – the 23rd day of the occupation

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

After an unsuccessful attempt to reestablish classes on alternative locations the faculty management has neglected the demands of one-fifth of the faculty educating staff. On yesterday’s meeting, a group of approximately 130 professors and assistants refused to submit to the Dean’s decision and demanded from him that he calls for an emergency session of the Faculty’s Council. The Dean has refused to comply with the excuse that the person in charge of document filing hasn’t showed up for work. (more…)

PRESS RELEASE, May 11th 2009, 22nd day of the occupation

Monday, May 11th, 2009

The attempt of organizing regular educational process at alternative locations on the initiative of dean Jurković and the Administration of the Faculty of Philosophy is an attempt of pretending to be in a control over the situation over which neither the Administration nor the Government have no control of. They pretend to have solved the situation by neglecting both its motives and its social and political substance. The occupation of the Faculty of Philosophy as well as the occupation of other faculties all over the country is not an end in itself. The occupation is a means that we were forced to resort to in defense of the rights which have proved impossible to secure through the official communication channels. (more…)

Conclusions of the teachers of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Monday, May 11th, 2009

On May 11th 2009, a group of about 130 teachers at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences decided to hold a meeting to discuss the present situation at the faculty. (more…)

Press release – May 7th 2009, 18th day of the occupation

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

After 17 days of ignoring and belittling the occupation, last night’s plenum was visited by Duje Bonacci, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. Mr. Bonacci emphasized that he was there as a private citizen. He admitted without hesitation that he had been supporting from the beginning the strategy of ignoring the students’ protest expecting it to diminish by itself. Implicitly, Mr. Bonacci thereby made it clear that, to him and his superiors, the issue of the right to an education becomes an issue worthy of their attention only in the extreme circumstances of the student occupation which has lasted longer than they had hoped it would. They are only interested in turning it into a secondary cause for an excess which needs to be removed as soon as possible in order to once again establish the administrative normality in which bureaucrats can pass laws that oppose the fundamental rights and public interest without public discussion. (more…)

Press release, May 6th 2009, 17th day of the occupation

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

The instances in charge are still refusing to disclose their opinion about the demands of the independent student initiative for free education. The memorandum sent to the universities by the permanent undersecretary Radovan Fuchs on May 4th represents the last in the series of attempts of bureaucratic camouflaging the fact that the nominal clerics of public interest are not in fact interested in public interest. The memorandum has once again shown that the Ministry does not find its open misleading of the public in attempt to turn it against the students unworthy of its mandate. The students who have dared to take the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights more seriously than those who have the professional duty to see that those principles are applied are singled out and displayed as a minority. Not even the fact that at a certain point as many as twenty faculties in eight Croatian cities joined the blockade or the fact that the initiative has been publicly backed by many other faculties, professors, unions, civil associations and intellectuals does not prevent the Ministry from insisting on portraying the action to defend this universal right as a whim of an irrelevant group of marginal individuals. Once again, we find this a troublesome lesson in the perception of democracy given to us by the instances who are supposed to serve it. (more…)

Press release, May 5th, 2009, 16th day of the occupation

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

On May 4 Ministry of Science, Education and Sports sent a memorandum to the universities announcing “the acceptance of the Rectors’ Conference initiative for the implementation of the new financial model for the higher education system in the Republic of Croatia”. The Rectors’ Conference proposed a model of free education based on the criterion of excellence. This was just an attempt at “proposing” an already existing linear payment model as a supposedly new solution to the problem. The Ministry has accepted the Rectors’ Conference proposal and thus tried to delude the public by pretending to be working towards a solution. (more…)

Press release, 4th May, 2009 – Open Letter to the Public

Monday, May 4th, 2009

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb is entering the third week of the occupation. Twenty other faculties in eight Croatian cities are also occupied. The sole responsibility for this situation is on the Ministry of science, education and sports and the Croatian government. Even if, since the very beginning, the students’ demands were explicitly directed to the Minister and the government, not even the two weeks of the occupation were enough to make them feel obliged to take the responsibility. The Ministry and the goverment did not offer a single reaction adequate to the students’ demands, but have instead resorted to the strategy of transfering the responsibility to the various academic institutions. We consider this policy to be disastrous, incompetent and irresponsible. The University Senate’s reaction was no less irresponsible and misdirected. (more…)

Press release, 3rd May 2009, 14th day of the occupation

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

We’ve persistently been asked the question: Why don’t you give up, it’s been two weeks already? Or: Shouldn’t you finally agree to negotiate and reduce your demands, since they’re obviously not realistic? Those kinds of questions implicate a certain amount of guilt from our part, irrational stubbornness and a lack of sense for what’s real and possible. All of this smoothly fits the idea of an irresponsible and inapt student which certain media and some politicians still fevereshly sell trying to belittle and devalue the action of defending an important right. (more…)

Press release, May 2nd, 2009, 13th day of the occupation

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

This week we have witnessed another display of flagrant behaviour by our Minister and the would-be autonomous academic community.

During a session, with minister Primorac attending, the Rectors’ assembly has decided not to support the demands and methods of students rebelling on faculties and universities throughout the country. In this way the rectors have shown just how little they care about the academic world they allegedly run, revealing that they are but executors of the Minister’s orders. (more…)

Press release, May 1st, 2009, 12th day of the occupation

Friday, May 1st, 2009

President Mesić himself has sent a message to the students stating that the goal of their initiative is fulfiled and that the time has come to call off the blockade and let everything return to its normal flow. In this way the President has joined the long list of senior officials, bureaucrats, newspaper columnists and opinion makers who have taken the task of interpreting to the students the meaning of their own initiative. President Mesić thereby sees the initiative as a gesture sent to the authorities with the purpose of “starting a debate” and “opening up a topic”. (more…)

Press release, April 30th, 2009, 11th day of the occupation

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

From the very beginning of the initiative even the highest state authorities could not resist the temptation to use the student’s revolt, aimed at their own socially destructive politics, for the display of their ostensible democratic maturity. Declaratively, they attest our right to protest but only as an empty staged performance. From the start, the relevance and comprehensibility of the articulation of our political and social goal is disputed. We are sent a message: you have a right to raise your voice but your voice will not have a status of intelligible speech. The other thing of vital importance to the ruling bureaucrats is that the protest should be as brief as possible and without considerable consequences for the continuing work of the administrative machinery. (more…)