Serbia: Students protest and occupy

Student blockade
Student blockade

A participant's report of new student protests against neo-liberal "reforms" of the education sector.

Submitted by Joseph Kay on March 9, 2007

"Some 300 students gathered at the protest in front of Faculty of Architecture today. After blocking of the major Belgrade boulevard for some time, just few hours ago decision was made to do a sleep-over in the faculty building, which will turn into a full-time blockade of the building tomorrow morning. 400 students are currently occupying the faculty. As before, the infrastructure of the protest is provided by ASI-IWA (libcom editors' note: the Serbian affiliate of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers' Association).

This is just a first step in revival of the protest in this schooling year. In the autumn of 2006, students at the University of Belgrade launched the first organised counter-offensive against neo-liberal reforms of higher education in Serbia. In this way they continued the same struggle initiated earlier in the same year by their colleagues from France, Greece and other countries across the world.

The student protests lasted three months, from the beginning of October until end of December 2006. It included eight public protest meetings, over 30 student gatherings at the Faculty of Philosophy and approximately 15 gatherings at other faculties across the city. Over 17,000 students of Belgrade University signed petitions in support of protest demands."

More information
:> Discussion about the student protests on our forums
:> Pictures of the occupation and blockade (external link)