Demonstration against the privatization of education, New Delhi, December 2, 2010
As our UK-based Dangerous Mind Paul Gallagher has noted, London students have taken the issue of educational democracy off the campuses into both the city’s freezing streets and the faces of lines of cops. Of course these have been paralleled by media coverage of a couple of years of anti-tuition hike protests at the University of California. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
Turns out the international student movement that’s been brewing is on the way to becoming the primary dynamic popular movement of our time. From Manila to Santiago to Jakarta to Marrakech to Milan to Prishtina, students have been hitting the capitals to protest the privatization, commodification and militarization of education and research. Their fight against the fee hikes, budget cuts and other politricks affecting access to education is already the most effective and wide-reaching youth movement you’ve ever seen. Period.
To state the sweepingly obvious, the global financial industry played a huge part in causing the worldwide educational crisis. And democratized education will be key to defending humanity against the most powerful wave of greed we’ve seen in a while. That makes the global struggle for free, emancipatory education the key struggle of our lifetimes.
You may think I’m overstating it. Hell, maybe I am. But just in case, do yourself a favor: keep an eye on this movement and support it in whatever way you see fit.