Dear Education Actvists from around the world,
As you might know students in many different countries are currently struggling to defend their education system from neoliberal reforms – and to shape it to a just and noncommercial system where the principles of solidarity, equality and democracy will be fulfilled.
We, active students from Germany, would like to invite you to join us at the ‘Yellow Barrio’ (Yellow being the colour of the students movement in Germany since last year!) during the G8 protests. Our aim is to get students from around the world who are struggling against neoliberal reforms within the education system to stay at that particular camp, exchange ideas, experiences and visions. Furthermore this international camp will send out a strong message to those in power and will inspire students around the world, that they are not alone in their fight.
At the beginning of this year thousands of students in Austria protested against tuition fees, after a president was elected who promised to drop the fees during election campaign. Once elected, he ‘forgot’ what he promised. For many months tens of thousands of students, teachers and workers protested in Greece against the introduction of a new education law, hundreds where arrested and injured. Also students in Germany have been protesting against the introduction of tuition fees and the constant efforts to privatise higher education for years already. Highways and railway stations were blocked, several times thousands of students took to the streets. Many federal states introduced tuition fees recently, so for the first time you need to pay more than 1,500 Euro (tuition fees + admininistration charges) per year to enter university. In every country where tuition fees have been introduced so far, they skyrocketed and it became a luxuary to attend higher education. The same goes for Israel. For over three weeks (since 11/04/2007) students are on strike and on the streets protesting increasing tuition fees. Thousands are demonstrating and blocking main junctions there as well. Some students even launched a hunger strike.
These are just a few examples, in many more countries, such as Canada, the U.K., the Philippines, Chile, Mexico, Zimbabwe and the U.S.A. students are struggling for equal access to education as well.
The public education sector is just one of many areas effected by neoliberal reforms. Public services such as health, water, electricity supply, and transport are being privatised around the world. Those developments we can observe almost everywhere on this planet result from the global capitalist system currently in place, which is also responsible for an increasing precarisation. The G8 – consisting of the world’s most ‘industrialised’ and influential nations – symbolises, shapes and supports this system and the inherent necessities that come with it.
Politics nowadays are increasingly done on an international level (see Bologna Process, GATS). Therefore it also takes internationally coordinated resistance to build up pressure and change politics!