International campaign to support the student movement struggling for Public & Free Education in Greece

International campaign to support the student movement struggling for Public & Free Education in Greece

#StudentMovementGreece

With this text we address the militant youth around the world, communicating the struggle for Public & Free Education, from hundreds of thousands of high school & university students, teachers, and workers in public education.

The Greek government has announced a new education bill entitled “Free University” where its main goal is the foundation of private universities in Greece. The exclusively public and free nature of higher education is explicitly written in the Greek Constitution’s “Article 16”. As a result of great struggles of the people and the youth, “Article 16” was not abolished despite the efforts of several past governments. The last time a government tried to abolish “Article 16”, 2006-2007, and establish private universities, a victorious student movement with the support of Greece’s working class, broke out. Almost all Greek universities were under occupation, with general assemblies of thousands of students in each department and student union, with university occupations and protests of hundreds of thousands almost every week until the retreat of the government.

However, the latest governments, in their failed attempts to create private universities, introduced a special framework for the operation of private colleges, with the most recent example of making their degrees equal with those of public universities. In parallel, state funding for education is constantly reduced with devastating effects on schools and universities, while at the same time the new framework pushes universities into partnerships with the private sector and multinational companies in the pretext of connecting them to the market and reciprocal “collaborations”. While war becomes an organic element of capitalism, Greek universities cooperate with the war industry and NATO, turning their research from social needs to those of the killing machines.

Underlying the politics above, in addition to the government and private interests, is the European Union. Once again, the reactionary and totalitarian character of the EU is stressed out. The EU turns the country’s Constitution into a rag paper, by invoking the European directive of “the freedom of movement of capital and businesses”, through Article 28 which ensures that international agreements and European law take precedence over the Greek Constitution. Thus, it is an attempt to abolish not only public education but also the right of the states and the peoples to decide differently from the Brussels’ directorate and business lobbies that rule the EU.

We are witnessing yet another attempt to privatize a public good, such as education. We experience daily the negative results of the privatization of social goods, such as electricity, water, health, and transports. We know that the government wants to avoid the “burden” of funding public education, while at the same time is spending exorbitant amounts on police repression and military equipment (holding the lead in defense spending in terms of percentage of GDP/Population among NATO countries, surpassing even the USA).

We declare that the youth, high school and university students, teachers and workers in schools and universities, will fight against these policies. Together with the workers’ and peoples’ movement, we demand exclusively public, free, and comprehensive education and employment rights after studies. In early 2024, the student unions have proceeded to general assemblies and occupations in most Greek universities, also having the support of high school students, teachers, workers. Large demonstrations have been already organized throughout Greece while new ones are being organized in the coming weeks.

Through this campaign, we invite you to support the struggle of Greek youth and working class and to proceed with statements (e.g. texts, publications, student and/or worker unions decisions and initiatives) as well as actions (e.g. banners, demonstrations at Greek Embassies etc.) in support of the student and education movement in Greece. Please upload your initiatives on social media using the Hashtag #StudentMovementGreece.

We believe that our demands do not concern only the youth in Greece. The struggle for an education that is a right and not a privilege, that will provide comprehensive knowledge for the benefits of the society and will not be a gamble of the market driven economy, is a struggle for the youth and the peoples all over the world.

Communist Liberation youth (Greece), 15/1/2024

 

Footage from Protests & General Assemblies of the student & education movement in Greece: Click Here

 

5th Week of Protests and University Occupations – Update 06/02/2024

For 5 weeks in a row, the student unions of Greece after their general assemblies (each week) they continue to occupy most of the Greek universities. Thousands of high school and university students, teachers, professors, researchers and other workers protest each week in more than 20 cities throughout Greece. On Thursday, February 8, a central demonstration is being organized in Athens by all the student associations of Greece, the teachers’ unions, while many workers’ unions have organized strikes and work stoppages, and for the first time after a month of demonstrations, a coordinating general assembly of all the student associations of the country will take place in Athens. In parallel, the government of Greece, is trying to terrorize the struggling youth by using the police to storm occupied universities, beating and arresting students.

Since the launch of the international campaign we received lots of solidarity statements from around the world, from Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, North Macedonia, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Argentina. We keep on sharing the campaign.

 

Central Demonstration in Athens from Student and Teachers Unions of Greece

 

Student Movement Initiatives – Update 13/02/2024

After the huge central demonstration in Athens, the student unions organized a concert in solidarity with the struggle for public and free education, in which thousands of people participated. In parallel, Student Unions and Workers’ Unions of the National University of Athens, blocked the central server of the university in order to stop the digital exams. It’s worth to mention that the government proposed digital exams, to bypass the occupied universities and undermine the struggle of the education movement in Greece.