Archive for the ‘support’ Category

Statement of solidarity with the students of Middlesex University

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

A spectre is haunting the universities of Europe, east and west. It is not of the sort that seize the masses, but nevertheless presents a formidable material force. It has captured institutions and those who govern them, subordinating both to its logic. It speaks a peculiar, stark language, in which arguments take the privileged form of numbers. It has only one lesson to offer, but this lesson it offers relentlessly. Whenever it speaks of ‘efficiency’, ‘rationality’ or ‘necessity’, it means one thing only: the efficiency and rationality of the market, the necessity of capitulation before its imperatives. Through the mouths of pundits, deans and managers, it never tires of celebrating itself as the agent of a great and overdue cleansing. It’s great task is to cut and get rid of, sever and shut down everything that cannot or will not be subsumed under the profit calculus. This is its sole vision and purpose, the purity it is pursuing and devoted to. It tolerates no other logic besides its own, no purpose other than that of the merchant and the usurer. Where it enters, it becomes master. Where it is denied welcome, it enters by force. As any other conqueror, it establishes new laws and demands tributary payments. Whoever has been visited by it knows that beneath the dry bureaucratic idiom of its declarations lies a violent essence. It is only right to resist it! (more…)

Solidarity from the UK

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Faculty of Philosophy students, University of Zagreb,

As a graduate of Cardiff University, Wales, UK, I’m well aware of the challenges you face and fully support your actions in Zagreb and Croatia as a whole. Over 186,000 progressive students across the UK have united against tuition fees and the continued commercialisation of education. We share your vision of a future no longer defiled by market values and mentalities and wish you success in your struggle for justice, integrity, compassion, wisdom and learning.

In solidarity

Sebastian Power BSc Architecture
On behalf of the Young Greens of England and Wales

Alice Hemming BA English Literature student
On behalf of Cardiff University Feminist Group

Sam Coates BSc Politics, MCP student
On behalf of Cardiff University Green Party

Amy Hall BA Media and Communication
On behalf of Cardiff University People and Planet

Adam Johannes
On behalf of Cardiff Students Against War

Alex Whitcroft BSc Architecture, MArch student, Cardiff University

Letter of support to the students of Austria

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

We write to you to express our full solidarity with your struggle against the commercialization and commodification of higher education in Austria. Above all, we see in it the mirror image and continuation of our own struggle – both in its goals and methods. It is one more reminder of the fundamental lesson that there are no longer merely local struggles. (more…)

Letter to Alain Badiou

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

At the last plenary session 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. (more…)

Letter of support to protesters in California

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Dear colleagues in California,

we, students and citizens gathered on the 46th Plenum held on September 22nd have voted unanimous support and solidarity with organised students of the University of California in your fight against budget cuts. (more…)

Letter of support from Lawrence Grossberg

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I support fully your efforts to demand free education for all.
In fact, education should be defined as a basic human right.
You are leading what will hopefully become a global movement.

Lawrence Grossberg
Morris Davis Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies and Cultural Studies
Adjunct Distinguished Professor of Anthropology
Adjunct Distinguished Professor of Geography
Adjunct Distinguished Professor of American Studies
Co-Director, University Program in Cultural Studies
Co-editor, Cultural Studies (an international journal)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Letter of support from The Association of Blacklisted Students of Tokyo

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Dear Slobodni Filozofski

We, the Association of Blacklisted Students of Tokyo, would like to express our full support to Croatian students’ initiative for the right to free education.

We are living the end of neoliberal regime. Some already use the word “postliberal”, but what it will be depends on our struggles.

Make another world together.

The Association of Blacklisted Students of Tokyo

Letter of support from Frank Furedi

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

“I fully support the Croatian students’ campaign for the right to free education. It is an objective that is wholly consistent with the workings of a democratic intellectual culture and with a future oriented humanist outlook. The right to education is fundamental to the workings of an enlightened society. The very pursuit of this right is evidence of the fact that the aspiration for a better world lives on.”

Frank Furedi, British sociologist, University of Kent

Letter of support from professors of NTNU, Norway

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Dear colleagues:

We are writing to express our full support for the Croatian student strike for free public education. We believe that free public education is a basic human right and that students should not be charged tuition fees at any level of education. Here in Norway, students at the undergraduate and master’s level pay only a nominal registration fee while, at the doctoral level, doctoral candidates are paid a good salary for three to four years (depending on the source of their funding). We hope that the students succeed in this endeavor and also in preserving nonviolent and peaceful behavior.

Sabrina P. Ramet, Professor of Political Science, NTNU, Norway
Ola Listhaug, Professor of Political Science, NTNU, Norway
Christine M. Hassenstab, J.D., doctoral candidate, NTNU, Norway

Letter of support from transform!at

Monday, May 11th, 2009

transform!at solidarisiert sich mit den Forderungen der StudentInnen in Kroatien nach einer freien und allen zugänglichen Bildung.

Allgemeine und allen Menschen zugängliche Bildung ist eine der wichtigsten Voraussetzungen um weltweit dem Kampf nach Freiheit und Gleichheit zu gewinnen.
Es ist nicht verwunderlich, dass überall, wo die neoliberalen Kräfte an die Macht kamen – so auch in Österreich – der freie Zugang zu den Universitäten und damit die Bildungsmöglichkeit und das Erweben von Wissen für ALLE beschnitten und die berechtigte Kritik am gegenwärtigen Kapitalismus vom Bildungswesen ferngehalten wird. Dahinter versteckt sich eine strategische Vorgangsweise – es handelt sich um einen Versuch, das nötige Wissen um das Funktionieren der Welt nur auf eine ihnen hörige Elite zu beschränken. Wissen ist, nach wie vor, eine der notwendigen Voraussetzungen der Macht und der Teilhabe an der Welt.
transform!at setzt sich für eine freie und gleiche Zugangsmöglichkeit zur Bildung ein und dies bedingungslos für alle Menschen weltweit.
Euer Kampf ist unser Kampf! Eure Welt ist unsere Welt!

Letter of support from Reclaim Your-Education-network, Denmark

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

We want to express our greatest solidarity with the Student Uprising in Croatia!

We are thrilled to see the uprising spreading through your country, and we have the utmost respect for your abilities to organise and mobilize the Croatian students in our common cause of fighting marketization and privatization.

This spring, we have occupied the University in Copenhagen for the first time in many years as part of the global Reclaim Your Education week of action. Before that – in february – we fought fiercely to keep our student grants that right-wing politicians wanted to take away from the students in their attempt to undermine democratic education and slowly privatize the public sector. This struggle was won and it shows that the students possess a great force if we unite and organise.

We are certain that your movement will prevail in your national struggle as well. And we salute every one of your activists using their time and energy to fight for public education!

We want to let you know, that your movement has inspired us to keep on with the struggle!

This summer, we are preparing and when the next global week of action comes around in the fall, we will do everything we can to follow your example here in Denmark!

Let’s make every country of Europe another Croatia!

With solidarity, respect and the hope to organise with you in the future

Reclaim Your-Education-network

Letter of support from Cardiff Students Against War and Cardiff Young Greens Society

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Dear Croatian students against the commercialization of education,

As a student studying at Cardiff University, Wales, UK, I’m well aware of the challenges you face and fully support your actions. Recently, students from 30 universities across the UK were involved in occupations, similar in format to yours, in protest over our university’s complicity in war, arms trading and Western imperialism in light of the Gaza crises and the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Progressive students across the UK have also recently united to sign a petition against tuition fees and the continued commercialization of education. So far over 175,000 students have signed this. Of course the mainstream international media, which echoes the voices of the powerful elites, has failed to mention this or the popular understanding which does not support the commodification of students. So I will do the media’s job for them and outline our views in support of your actions.

The current economic crisis offers an opportunity not only to question the politics of free-market fundamentalism, the dominance of economics over politics, and the subordination of justice to the laws of finance and the accumulation of capital, but also the ways in which our culture has been (and is being) corrupted by rampant commercialization, commodification and consumption.

In a society that measures its success and failure solely through the economic lens of the Gross National Product (GNP), it becomes difficult to define students and education outside of market principles determined largely by criteria such as the rate of market growth and the accumulation of capital. The GNP does not measure justice, integrity, courage, compassion, wisdom and learning, among other values vital to the interests and health of a democratic society. Nor does it address the importance of civic participation, public goods, dissent and the fostering of democratic institutions.

In a society driven entirely by market mentalities, moralities, values and ideals, consuming, selling and branding become the primary mode through which to define our social relations and to shape our lives. This is part of the economic crisis that is barely mentioned in the mainstream media.

What is been sold off is not only our education but our collective future too. The consequences of this catastrophe can only be understood within the larger framework of a politics and market philosophy that view students as commodities and democracy as the enemy. In a democracy, education in any sphere, whether it be the public universities or the larger media, is, or should be, utterly adverse to treating young people as individual units of economic potential and as walking commodities. And it is crucial, as you are all well aware, not to “forget” that democracy should not be confused with a hypercapitalism.

At the same time, simply criticizing the market, the privatization of public goods and the commercialization of education and students, while helpful, is not enough. Stirring denunciations of what a market society does to education do not go far enough. What is equally necessary is developing public spaces and social movements that help us develop healthy notions of self, identities and visions of our future no longer defined – more accurately, defiled – by market values and mentalities.

Let’s continue our international resistance to the powerful marketing and financial forces that service big corporations and the corporate state. Good luck with your protests and occupations!

Sebastian Power,
Architecture student, Cardiff University,
On behalf of Cardiff Students Against War and Cardiff Young Greens Society.

Letter of support from Wendy Bracewell

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

The right to education is a basic human right. The imposition of fees limits access to those who can pay or who can work the system. Narrowing the pool of potential university applicants in this way is unfair; it is also a waste of ability and talent. Higher education free at the point of delivery is an investment in the future of society; what better use of taxpayers’ funds is there? Keep up the struggle.

Wendy Bracewell
School of Slavonic and East European Studies
University College London

Letter of support from John Zerzan

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

I am John Zerzan, an American author, who has visited your fine country. I write out of deep concern for the future of freely accessible public education at every level in Croatia. The neo-liberal project has failed badly, with the current sharp global recession testifying to this fact. Corporate control is a bad direction that would have negative consequences for education and the public at large. In my view privitisation is the wrong course, one which would benefit the few at the expense of the future of life in Croatia. I am not alone in my interest in this issue, my objection to a wrong course.

Thank you for your time.

Very sincerely, John Zerzan

Letter of support from Young Greens of Turkey

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009


We heard, somehow, that our friends in Croatia are using their rights to protest against the new “participation” fees of Croatian government, which is considered as the first step of universities’ privatisation.

What a kind and nice word; “participation” . We really admire that talent of finding such beautiful words for such ugly things. But this admiration of ours doesn’t stop us in saying those next two sentences :

“Free education is something we will never give up; and “power of money” is a lie that we will never believe. If you really need some money; corrupt less and consume less : But don’t try to give that trash to our shoulders.”

Genç Yeşiller
Young Greens of Turkey

Letter of support from Slavoj Žižek

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Those among us who are old enough remember “specialized further education”, the last attempt of the Communist regime in the old Yugoslavia to streamline education to “social use” and narrow the space of dissent. Western Europe is now rediscovering it – it is called the “Bologna reform of the higher education,” a new attempt to subordinate higher education to the needs of social control and regulation. We need a cultural revolution to fight this dangerous tendency with all means available, violent civic disobedience included. You, students who occupy faculties, are doing not only the right thing, but the necessary thing. Go to the end, persist – no compromise!

Letter of support from Judith Butler

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

I am sorry not to be able to come there directly to address the students and to provide my support in person. But please know that I support your efforts and hope that you have success. This is an important moment to oppose the decimation of the social welfare estate, especially its impact on educational institutions, as well as the rise of neo-liberal calculations in relation to university life. Students are threatened with becoming an acutely ‘precarious’ population, exposed to poverty, debt, and lack of educational opportunities. Please accept my strong support for your brave and just actions.

Judith Butler

Letter of support from Noam Chomsky

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I have learned of the struggle of Croatian students to ensure that free education will be available to all.  It is a worthy goal for every society — including my own, where such rights are not honored — and I would like to wish them success in their efforts.

Noam Chomsky

Letter of Support from LEAP – Link Education And Practice

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

LEAP – Link Education And Practice
Non Governmental Youth Organization, Romania
April 30th, 2009

Letter of Support to the Independent Student Initiative for the Right to Free Education

On behalf of LEAP – Link Education And Practice – a Non Governmental Youth Organization in Romania, I am writing this letter of support to the Independent Student Initiative for the Right to Free Education in Croatia, currently involved in a very important action – not an action of protest – but of defending an universal right – the right to FREE education and the right to equality of opportunity for any form of education.

Through this letter, we show our solidarity with the students in Croatia, fighting against the commercialization of education and trying to stop the privatization of the universities and their transformation into profit-oriented institutions, which leave aside their primary purpose – that of providing a proper education to the citizens of the country – without any discrimination imposed by financial aspects.

We hope that through its actions, the Independent Student Initiative for the Right to Free Education will succeed in reaching its goals – first by raising awareness regarding this issue to students in particular and to the general public, and second – achieving free education for all, in an overall improved educational system.

Their message has spread since they are defending the things we also believe in. Therefore, as President of LEAP, on behalf off all members, I would like to express our full support to the Croatian students and the university staff.

President of LEAP

Letter of support from the Blue Sky Youth Network

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Blue Sky Youth Network

To the Students at the University of Zagreb, University of Zadar, University of Rijeka and University of Split,

Blue Sky Youth Network would like to express our support to your independent student initiative for the right of free education. As an organization whose focus is the youth population, including the students, Blue Sky applauds your courageous decision to take such measures as blockage of the education in order to regain your right of free education.

We really hope that you, the united students from Croatia, will accomplish your goal to be granted back the right of free education.

Sincerely Yours,

Marko Markovski
Public Relations Manager
Blue Sky Youth Network