Thursday, November 19, 2009

Student Solidarity Demonstration in Kyiv

On 17 November students of Kyiv celebrated their professional holiday with a protest action “Student’s Day. Break the Wall”. They were protesting against the repressive education system and expressing their solidarity with students in Austria and Germany that occupied more than 70 universities.

In front of the main Red Building of Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv an independent student union "Direct Action" made a performance symbolizing overthrow of the existing education system.

While Pink Floyd music (‘We don’t need no education…”) was playing, the students went behind a screen with the words "education system" on it and came out in similar robot masks. A few minutes later smoke went out from the screen followed by some small explosions. After this symbolic wall representing repressive education fell down and two dozen students took off the masks and displayed a banner with the words "Student Solidarity”.

The Union activists believe that modern education brings to students stereotyped thinking, conformism and competition spirit among the students. Instead, free education should bring mutual solidarity and ability to question things.

The participants of the demo stated: "While in Ukraine the Bologna system is being introduced only now, students and teachers in Europe have already started with her uncompromising struggle. In Austria and Germany more than 70 universities are occupied, and today there are demonstrations with hundred thousand participants in these countries. Also pupils in Greece started school occupation out of solidarity."  In solidarity with European colleagues, the students were holding banners that were aimed to support calls for protests in Austria, Germany and Greece.

"Direct Action" activists also reminded that the International Students' Day is celebrated in order to commemorate the murder of five students and teachers who came to protest in Prague and were killed by Nazis.  "In a situation of total absence of any rights the students have nothing to celebrate!" the participants emphasized that in a situation of total absence of any rights the students have nothing to celebrate.  In their view, the Students' Day in Ukraine should gain its initial meaning as the students’ rights day.


No comments:

Post a Comment