Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/479/2199
The Socialist 22 March 2007 |
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The struggle to defend free education
HUNDREDS OF occupied universities... striking university lecturers... demonstrations tens of thousands strong...; for ten months now Greek youth have fought against government attacks on the right to free education.
The strength of this movement has halted moves to allow private universities to be set up. Other attacks have gone through but lecturers and students are determined that they will not be implemented. Mass action of this kind could still see workers and youth victorious in removing the attacks, made law at the beginning of March.
In this struggle, strength is being drawn from the lessons of the French youth and workers' struggle in 2006 that forced the government to remove the hated CPE law, which threatened to destroy young people's rights at work.
Given the strength of opposition and willingness to struggle in Greece, these attacks could have been stopped before becoming law. However, a coherent plan to build the movement has not been put forward by the student leadership and, crucially, they have not seriously appealed to the workers' movement for solidarity action even though the potential is undoubtedly there.
Also, squabbling amongst left student organisations has resulted in impotence and violent anarchist actions have threatened to erase public support for the movement.
These problems need to be overcome for the movement to succeed. Xekinima, the CWI section in Greece, is calling for a continuation of the movement, properly co-ordinated together with joint action with workers, and for a united left election list that can remove the current right-wing leadership of the students' movement.