Tag Archives: Event

People’s University in Washington Square

24 Oct
Out from the classrooms and into public space, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.


The People’s University brings education out from the classrooms into public spaces.

The People’s University refuses exclusions and limitations on access both to education and to public space.

The People’s University is open to people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities. And it demands that those with privilege step up by stepping back and listening, so that we can learn from each other.

The People’s University draws inspiration from the occupations on Wall Street, other cities in the United States, and throughout the world.

The People’s University acknowledges that NYU, and other private universities in New York City and beyond, have colonized our neighborhoods, erecting physical and social barriers to inclusion. The People’s University will now decolonize the public space at the center of NYU’s real estate empire—Washington Square Park.

The People’s University acknowledges that a movement for economic justice and radical social change requires hard work and a lot of rethinking assumptions. Educational efforts and community organizing go hand in hand, and the People’s University will bring community groups, activists, union members, students and educators into dialogue to build this movement together.

The People’s University aims to remove education from the marketplace. Learning must be free of charge, and opportunities for education must be plentiful, not scarce. The People’s University is one small step in that direction, because it says that education is not a consumer good. It is what the 99% can and must share in common.

The People’s University is organized in solidarity with #OWS in Liberty Square and complements the education and empowerment work ongoing there. Events at the People’s University will cover a range of subjects, from “Understanding the Economic Crisis” to art and activism, from the history of worker occupations to the ongoing struggles of NYC communities against economic injustice.

Sessions en español and with sign language interpretation will be announced soon. Please join us, and propose your own sessions at nyu4ows@gmail.com.


The Private Law of Protest

14 Sep

The Private Law of Protest: Workshop at Kent Law School, November 4, 2011.

This one-day workshop will examine the deployment of private law by university management against students in the context of recent protests against the marketisation of learning and teaching. The workshop will draw on the experiences of occupiers and their lawyers in mapping and critiquing the use of tort, contract and property law to end, prevent and punish student occupations of university buildings. Among the questions we might ask are:

– How have the rights of free assembly and free speech been restricted – in principle and in practice – in recent occupation judgments?
– Has private law been used within the university in this way before? Has it been used in this way elsewhere?
– What sort of university space are we protesting to defend/create and for whom? How do protestors’ visions of university space depart from that protected by law?
– How useful are the tropes of ‘marketisation’ and ‘privatisation’ of the university in understanding recent developments in the private law of protest?
– How should we understand the relationships between the legal control of university space by management and broader government projects?
– How might we re-imagine the relationship of protest to the injunction, the contract and the possession order? Is there an alternative law of protest which departs from that underwritten by the state?

There is no charge for attendance, but for space and catering purposes, please email: m.enright@kent.ac.uk.

This workshop is generously sponsored by Social & Legal Studies.

Call for a Transnational Meeting in Tunisia

14 Sep

Call for a Transnational Meeting in Tunisia

We, students, precarious workers, unemployed, and activists of Europe and North Africa met in Tunis to share our knowledge and begin a process of common struggles. The struggles that have swept across North Africa over the last few months spoke to the entire globe because the absence of a future for the new generations was at the center of these conflicts. The front lines in these struggles were held by the new generation who is always the first to fight and the last to be listened to. In the context of the global economic crisis, there are many parallels in the reasons why we are fighting in Europe and why Ben Ali and Moubarak were toppled.

These struggles are demanding a radical change of a system based on generalized exploitation by parasitic governments of elites over the needs of the many. We are revolting against the misery of the present and to build new social relationships that are produced by processes of liberation and the reappropriation of our collective wealth. These struggles create common spaces that power constantly tries to fragment and repress.

This is why we are calling for a transnational Meeting of activists to share our struggles and to construct common strategies and campaigns. We don’t want to have a “media” event, but to construct a transnational network able to face these times of struggle and great social transformation.

We would like this Meeting to be a laboratory of reflection and common work around the following fundamental questions: migration and the free circulation of people and knowledges, precariousness, the question of debt and social services, free and accessible education for all, the construction of autonomous media and networks, the reappropriation of urban spaces, the mechanisms and the forms of social mobilization and the experimentation of new forms of organization and collective intelligence.

We propose a 3-day Meeting in Tunisia in September 2011, and invite all collectives, groups, individuals and activists who adhere to this call and who wish to construct a transnational network of struggle.

Front de Libération populaire de la Tunisie

Knowledge Liberation Front

Network Welcome to Europe and other activists of NoBorder

Soliplenumk Revolte (Gottingen)


Source: http://www.edu-factory.org/wp/call-for-a-transnational-meeting-in-tunisia/

Greek Public Universities in Danger

2 Aug
To the international academic community
PUBLIC Greek Universities in Danger
 In the last few years, a wave of ‘reforms’ within the European Union and throughout the world has subjected Higher Education to the logic of the market. Higher Education has increasingly been transformed from a public good and a civil right to a commodity for the wealthy. The self-government of Universities and the autonomy of academic processes are also being eroded. The processes of knowledge production and acquisition, as well as the working conditions of the academic community, are now governed by the principles of the private sector, from which Universities are obliged to seek funds.

Greece is possibly the only European Union country where attempts to implement these ‘reforms’ have so far failed. Important factors in this failure are the intense opposition of Greek society as well as the Greek Constitution, according to which Higher Education is provided exclusively by public, fully self-governed and state-funded institutions.
According to the existing institutional framework for the functioning of Universities, itself the result of academic and student struggles before and after the military dictatorship (1967-1974), universities govern themselves through bodies elected by the academic community. Although this institutional framework has contributed enormously to the development of Higher Education in Greece, insufficient funding and suffocating state control, as well as certain unlawful and unprofessional practices by the academic community, have rendered Higher Education reform necessary.
The current government has now hastily attempted a radical reform of Higher Education. On the pretext of the improvement of the ‘quality of education’ and its harmonization with ‘international academic standards’, the government is promoting the principles of ‘reciprocity’ in Higher Education. At the same time, it is drastically decreasing public funding for education (up to 50% decrease) which is already amongst the lowest in the European Union. New appointments of teaching staff will follow a ratio 1:10 to the retirement of existing staff members.  This will have devastating results in the academic teaching process as well as in the progress of scientific knowledge.
The government proposals seek to bypass the constitutional obligations of the state towards public Universities and abolish their academic character.

  • The self-government of Universities will be circumvented, with the current elected governing bodies replaced by appointed ‘Councils’ who will not be  accountable to the academic community.
  • The future of Universities located on the periphery, as well as of University departments dedicated to ‘non-commercial’ scientific fields, looks gloomy.
  • Academic staff will no longer be regarded as public functionaries. The existing national payscale is to be abolished and replaced by individualized, ‘productivity’ related payscales, while insecure employment is to become the norm for lower rank employees.
  • Higher Education will be transformed into ‘training’ and, along with research, gradually submitted to market forces.

The government proposals have been rejected by the Greek academic community. The Council of Vice-Chancellors and the Senates of almost all Universities have publicly called the government to withdraw the proposals and have suggested alternative proposals which can more effectively deal with the problems of Greek Universities. Despite this, the government proceeds with promoting its proposals, in confrontation with the entire academic community.
We appeal to our colleagues from the international academic community, who have experienced the consequences of similar reforms, to support us in our struggle to defend education as a public good. We fight, together with our British, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and other colleagues, for the respect of the academic tradition of the European universitas in current conditions.

We ask you to send electronically the appeal below, signed with your name and indicating your academic status and institutional affiliation, to the Initiative of Greek Academics (europeanuniversitas1@gmail.com) or  sign online at http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?GRUNIV

The support of the international academic community will prove invaluable for the upcoming developments not only in Greek Universities but in respect to public European Higher Education as a whole.

Initiative of Greek academics

Defend Education – Fight Privatisation. London 9th November 2011

27 Jul

J30: A strike for us all

25 Jun

On Thursday 30th June (J30) lecturers at Leeds Metropolitan University will go on strike to defend against attacks on their pensions. They will be joined by 750,000 other lecturers, teachers, school students and public sector workers across the country

Staff from the University of Leeds will not be striking as they are on a different pension scheme (USS) to pre-1992 universities. Although there is a ballot currently being undertaken on future of the USS scheme, with potential industrial action in the autumn.

Despite not officially being on strike, staff at the University are being asked to strike unofficially, to show solidarity with workers at Leeds Metropolitan University and to defend against attacks on our lives more generally.

“But it’s not our strike…”

1) It is colleagues in your/our union, the UCU, who are on strike at Leeds Met. Attacks on them are attacks on us all. Institutional boundaries should not be used to divide us.

2) Although the strike has been called officially over pensions, it should be taken up as a generalised fight-back against government cuts and the assault that is underway against social housing, healthcare, social care, childcare, museums, swimming pools, public toilets, rape crisis centres, domestic violence shelters and all areas of social life. The strike is just one part of resistance against the sustained degradation of collective life that we are seeing unfold.

For these reasons, you should join colleagues and other public sector workers on J30 on the pickets lines, for a rally in City Square and for afternoon actions in the town centre.

What you can do:

1) Don’t work: call in sick, take a day’s leave

2 ) E n c o u r a g e others not to work

3) Join colleagues on the picket line: 8am, Leslie Silver Building, Leeds Met

4) Join the rally: 12pm, City Square

5) Join afternoon actions in the town centre after the rally

For more information see: http://www.j30strike.org

Taken from the Sausage Factory #7

Next ROU Concept Meeting: What Would It Mean to go ‘In, Against and Beyond’ the University?

17 Jun

Since its inception the Really Open University has expressed a desire to go beyond defending the University in its current elitist and exclusionary form. In our opposition to the neoliberalisation of the academy we have held no nostalgia to the public university that was. We understand the University exists as a border, filtering those it allows/rejects from its boundaries based on a range of oppressive criteria, including but not limited to racist and patriarchal ideologies and a fulfilment of its role to reproduce a ruling elite.

We have also, however, rejected a simple dialectic of defend/destroy, opting instead for a politics of transformation. Many of us find ourselves ‘inside’ the existent university, whether that be as students or staff, undergraduates or postgraduates, but also as non students or those wondering whether to return to the university.

In many ways we have wished to develop a praxis of ‘in, against and beyond‘ the university, thus refusing to both reformism or a politics of purity. In this meeting we want to discuss in more detail what it might mean to be ‘in and against’ the university, and how this might affect our ability to ‘beyond’ its existing form.

Tuesday, June 21 · 6:00pm – 8:00pm
The Victoria Hotel
28 Gt George Street, LS1 3D

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=102306929861659&pending