Statement from the Paris University Struggles Encounter

For a New Europe: University Struggles Against Austerity

Paris – Saint-Denis Meeting, 11-13 February 2011


Common Statement

We, the student and precarious workers of Europe, Tunisia, Japan, the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina, met in Paris over the weekend of the 11th-13th of February, 2011 to discuss and organize a common network based on our common struggles. Students from Maghreb and Gambia tried to come but France refused them entry. We demand the free circulation of peoples as well as the free circulation of struggles.

In fact, over the last few years our movement has assumed Europe as the space of conflicts against the corporatization of the university and precariousness. This meeting in Paris and the revolutionary movements across the Mediterranean allow us to take an important step towards a new Europe against austerity as well as towards the revolts in Maghreb.

We are a generation who lives precariousness as a permanent condition: the university is no longer an elevator of upward social mobility but rather a factory of precariousness. Nor is the university a closed community: our struggles for welfare, work and the free circulation of knowledge and people don’t stop at its gates.

Our need for a common network is based on our struggles against the Bologna Process and against the education cuts Europe is using as a response to the crisis.

Since the state and private interests collaborate in the corporatization process of the university, our struggles don’t have the aim of defending the status quo. Governments bail out banks and cut education. We want to make our own university – a university that lives in our experiences of autonomous education, alternative research and free schools. It is a free university, run by students, precarious workers and migrants, a university without borders.

This weekend we have shared and discussed out different languages and common practices of conflict: demonstrations, occupations and metropolitan strikes. We have created and improved our common demands: free access to the university against increasing fees and costs of education, new welfare and common rights against debt and the financialization of our lives, and for an education based on cooperation against competition and hierarchies.

Based on this common statement:

·        We call for common and transnational days of action on the 24th-25th-26th of March, 2011: against banks, debt system and austerity measures, for free education and free circulation of people and knowledge.

·        We demand three basic common rights/mesasures: right to bankrupt, tobin taxes, basic income.

·        We will create a common journal of struggles and an autonomous media of communication.

·        We will create a handbook on self-education

·        We will produce a web feeds federation of self-education and news projects.

·        We will promote a great caravan and meeting in Tunisia because the struggles in Maghreb are the struggles we are fighting here.

·        We will meet again in London in June.

·        We will be part of the G8 counter-summit in Dijon, June 5-7.

Fighting and cooperating, this is our Paris Common!


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