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Tag Archives: University strikes

We Are the Crisis

SPRINGTIME: THE NEW STUDENT REBELLIONS

Edited by Clare Solomon and Tania Palmieri
OUT NOW in the UK; Published September 2011, USA

Book launch and party on: Thursday 7 April, 2011, 6.30pm – 11pm
At The Venue & Gallery bar @ ULU, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY
Free entry / All ages / All proceeds to PalestineConnect http://www.palestineconnect.org
Come early for drinks reception
Books available for purchase at discounted price of £7

With talks and readings from:

Clare Solomon, (President of ULU)

Jody McIntyre, (Equality Movement)

Dr Nina Power, (Roehampton)

Jo Casserly, (UCL)

Ashok Kumar, (LSE SU)

Kanja Sesay, (NUS Black Students Officer)

James Meadway, (SOAS)

& more tbc

And open mic, poetry, live graffiti wall, music and projections by: Noel Douglas, (Globalise Resistance), Tyler Perkin, (Havering Sixth  Form College), DJ Steaz, Logic MC, (The Peoples Army & We are Dubist), Zain (Words Apart poetry group)

The autumn and winter of 2010 saw an unprecedented wave of student protests across the UK in response to the coalition government’s savage cuts in state funding for higher education, cuts which formed the basis for an ideological attack on the nature of education itself. Middle-class students, teenagers from diverse backgrounds and older activists took part in marches, teach-ins and occupations, and also creative new forms: flashmobs, YouTube dance-offs, and the literal literary resistance of colourful book blocs.

The protests spread with wildfire speed, mainly organised through the unprecedented use of social media such as facebook and twitter. Web-savvy, media-literate students developed Sukey, the anti-kettling phone app, publicise their demands through online and traditional media outlets and continue to build ever-denser international networks of solidarity.

The winter of discontent now gives rise to the new spirit of rebellion this spring with a broader, stronger resistance to austerity measures. We have already seen the astonishing events in the Arab world, trade union rallies in Wisconsin on a scale not seen in America since the Vietnam protests, direct-action by tax-justice campaigners UK Uncut – and 26 March will see ‘March for the Alternative’ the largest national anti-cuts demonstration yet. SPRINGTIME is both an inspiring chronicle of and companion to this movement: “the formulation of an experience” of a generation.

Rather than considering them a series of isolated incidents, this new book locates the student protests in the movement spreading across the entire western world: ever since the financial crash of 2008 there has been growing social and political turbulence in the heartlands of capital and beyond. From Athens to Rome, San Francisco to London – and the stunning events in Tunisia and Egypt that captured the world’s imagination – students are playing a key role in developing a strong, coherent social and political movement.

*****

CLARE SOLOMON is President of the University of London Union and has been centrally involved in the student protests.

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ISBN: 978 1 84467 740 5/ $14.95 / £9.99 / Paperback / 296 pages
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For more information or to buy the book visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/799-springtime
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Become a fan of Verso on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Verso-Books-UK/122064538789
And get updates on Twitter too! http://twitter.com/VersoBooksUK

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Education on Trial

UniCOMMON: THE REBELLION OF LIVING KNOWLEDGE

An extraordinary season of struggle, beyond Uniriot

Uniriot has been several things: the will to compose different political cultures, the desire of conflict and the innovation inside and against the university reformed by the Bologna Process. The attempt of building up a new experimentation outside of any reassuring identity, but creating a new network able to change and being changed by the richness of discussions and the unquestionable reality of the struggle that cross us.

Uniriot.org has been a great platform, a useful tool for the challenge we issued five years ago: not only a showcase of our ideas, but a crossroads of different experiences and projects, new narrations of struggle, communication about the transformations of the university and our research. We have been trying to carry this challenge forward since the movement of 2005, when we created Uniriot, through our experience inside the European struggles during the AntiCPE movement in France, Bologna Burns in Wien and Madrid, until the anomalous wave of 2008 and the incredible autumn we lived in 2010.

We have been profoundly changed during these extraordinary months, together with students, precarious workers and researchers that have passionately animated and continuously organized the struggles of the last year. As we cannot be the same, we close the experience of Uniriot and launch a new political constituent process to live up to our time and the transformations required by the struggles. A new challenge!

The Rebellion of Living Knowledge: UniCommon

UniCommon moves its first step in an era of crisis and austerity: the education reforms enacted without any public funding inside the framework of the failure of the Bologna Process and, at the same time, its extension outside Europe as a tool of exploitation of transnational living knowledge; the dismissal of the public university and the de-qualification of high school education, the massive youth unemployment, precarity and the absence of any future for a whole generation inside and outside the academy.

In this landscape, movements shouted firmly the shelter of public university against cuts, rising tuition fees, free research labor and debt loan, not as mere defence of the extant, but as a strategic field to claim quality of knowledge and free education against any rhetorical meritocracy. Self-education has been our political disposition, focused on the struggle for a qualified and critical knowledge, a device of organization that we are going to practice; our aim is to focus on the transformations of researchers’ status in the era of delegitimization of research work and the peer-review system. Militant research is our collective tool to understand and to map the transformations of the present; self-education is our device beyond the public/private dichotomy to make our university!

UniCommon wants to switch the nexus between education and precarity, creating a new social constituent deal within the new composition of labor, a democratic reappropriation of welfare against private plunders and feudal academic power. We have learnt that where there is a capital relation, there is exploitation of toil, passions, words and knowledge; where there is globalized cognitive capitalism so there is a parasitic power that robs our body, our life.

The European and north-African movements of the last autumn have taught us that the claim for welfare against poverty and rights against exploitation are strictly connected to the claim for democracy and freedom against power and its corruption. Students who have animated the revolts of last years, thousands of precarious and young unemployed took up the book shields to defend their lives: a rioting generation reclaiming knowledge, free access and circulation, income and new welfare, democracy and freedom of choice above our body.

UniCommon is born within the practice of Book Bloc, a common tool of defence, a production of imaginary to express our desire. We have created those book shields as an attempt of combining radicalism and people’s support; the challenge of our time is to build up a wild experimentation, widespread and radical at the same time, to step over the crisis and the failed utopia of cognitive capitalism. The Book Bloc is a transnational practice, against any fixed identity and outside any representation of conflict, it is our defence within the democracy of turmoil!

The failure of Bologna Process does not mean the end of exploitation of our knowledge, on the contrary the crisis deepens the capitalistc command over our body; at the same time, the struggles have showed us their powerful capacity of creating connections despite borders, sharing common projects and practices, shaping a different future where free knowledge, income, rights and citizenship are not just a privilege.

UniCommon is a new compass oriented by self-education, created by the wild demos that blocked the circulation of commodities; it is a device defended by the transnational Book Bloc inside a European space definitely twisted by the Mediterranean revolts, the margins that break into the center to overturn it.

Moreover, Unicommon is a network of communication and political organization, a web platform that will work as a place of information and communication of struggles from high school to the academy, a space of connection among experiences of self-education and autonomous collectives of research. UniCommon.org is a new website inside the 2.0 web time: video as a tool of enquiring and mapping transformations, photos as the continuous effort of imaging the fuzzy movement of our demos and discussions, audios as a precise opinion of different voices, augmented reality to shape and multiply our world.

UniCommon starts from La Sapienza University within a day of large discussions to make a public analysis of the past autumn and to imagine the spring that lies ahead.

Meet you in the struggles, to create the future and subvert the present; to make the university of the common!

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Program 24.03.2011

Create the Future, Subvert the Present

10:30 a.m. College of Philosophy, Villa Mirafiori, La Sapienza – Roma
Public assembly of students and precarious collectives and networks

Against the dismissal of public university, creating the university of the common

°°°
2:00 p.m. Lunch break

°°°

4:00 p.m. College of Political Science, LaSapienza – Roma
Round table

After the revolt of the autumn toward the general strike of 6th May 2011

Speakers: Ilenia Caleo (Zeropuntotre); Roberto Ciccarelli (Il manifesto), Claudio Riccio (Link), Eva Pinna (Surf), Luca Tomassini (CPU), Giorgio Sestili (Atenei in rivolta), Simone Famularo (Assemblea di Medicina – La Sapienza)  Francesco Sinopoli (Flc-Cgil), Corrado Zunino (la Repubblica)

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7:30 p.m. aperitif break and videos
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Info: http://www.uniriot.org  /  and from 24th  March  >>> http://www.unicommon.org >>>

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Education Crisis

German Students Strike

GERMAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ON STRIKE

 

Links to German student protests that are ongoing:

http://www.euronews.net/2009/11/17/german-university-strike-spreads/

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4901195,00.html

Thanks to Patrick Ainley for sending me these links.

Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk