~ September 22nd ~
European Education Ministers meet in Kiev:
Counter Forum Prohibited + Protesters detained
Education ministers from across Europe met in Kiev (Ukraine) for the so called "Forum of European Education ministers" hosted by the Ukrainian government today. Since people in the Ukraine struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education just like everyone else around the world, some students decided that this meeting can't just take place silently.
More than 100 students gathered to voice out their opposition to the dominant education policies in the Ukraine and acorss Europe. The protesters were faced with a massive police presence, even riot police was used to keep the students from voicing their opposition.
The police was aggressive and at some stage attacked protesters. Four activists, three of which are members of Direct Action (a network of independent student trade unions), were detained. The police "offered" to release them again in exchange for everyone to stop protesting. But since they saw that this "offer" showed no effect, the activists were fortunately released a few minutes later again.
The Direct Action network planned to hold a students' counter-forum ("the Other Side of Education") these days but it was prohibited by a court ruling. Obviously this decision is in violation with the freedom of assembly. According to the law, this freedom can only be restricted, if there is a direct threat to national security or public order.
Since "the Other Side of Education" was prohibited, students decided not to set up an encampment as planned, but to march through the city center of Kiev instead.
The current education reforms in the Ukraine (like in most other parts of the world) are aimed at cutting down public spending on education and further commercialization of the education system as a whole. This would make it harder for the financially poorer parts of society to attain an university degree.
"love, stand up, fight for your rights"