eipcp News
04 2009

Press Release of the Independent Student Initiative for the Right to Free Education, Zagreb



At a moment when the right to education for all is being tacitly eliminated under the bureaucratic code of "participation", by an administrative decree and without prior public discussion, despite the fact that the right to education is recognized as the universal and binding goal of civilization even in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, we feel that we must stand up in defence of that right not just in our own name, but in the name of society in general. We believe that the right to education is constitutional to any democracy which is more than a name.

The only public space immediately available to us is the space of the public institution where we are educated. Transforming it into space for the articulation of demands in defence of democratic public interests, we assume our part of responsibility in defending universal social interests from socially destructive processes of commercialization and social polarization according to income. As the problem of commercialization is not present only in Croatia, this action is being undertaken at the same time as other similar actions around the world, during the international week of fight against commercialization of education. During the occupation, we will hold our own educational programme instead of the normal classes, which will be open to all the students and general public. All decisions about further actions will be made by the students together through the direct democratic process at public plenary sessions.

We demand the elimination of all types of fees that have been introduced in higher education at all levels: undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate. The taxes we pay must provide a sufficient guarantee for basic rights and acquired institutions of social justice and equality. Anyone who claims that this is not possible within the existing fiscal framework is only confirming the acute reality of the need that the policy which has set up that framework be fundamentally redesigned.

We ask all students and professors to support us, and we extend that plea to all other citizens as well because universal education available to all is not only in the interest of students but is of significance for the future of the entire society.

We will not agree to the auctioning of rights – equality is not for sale!