ASS statement about the UvA occupation

Nieuws, gepost door: Autonomous Student Struggle op 24/01/2023 01:01:15

Waar: UvA Amsterdamse Academische Club, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 235, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wanneer: 16/01/2023 - 13:30

On the 16th of January 2023, Autonomous Student Struggle (ASS) took part in the occupation of the University of Amsterdam.
For this occupation, we chose to join a coalition of different (student) groups, among which the Decolonization club, Students for Justice in Palestine, Activisten Partij UvA, University Rebellion, Mokum Kraakt, End Fossil Occupy NL, and Rood Amsterdam.

On the 16th of January 2023, Autonomous Student Struggle (ASS) took part in the occupation of the University of Amsterdam.
For this occupation, we chose to join a coalition of different (student) groups, among which the Decolonization club, Students for Justice in Palestine, Activisten Partij UvA, University Rebellion, Mokum Kraakt, End Fossil Occupy NL, and Rood Amsterdam. The Amsterdamse Academische Club, on the Ouderzijds Achterburgwal, was an elite clubhouse that had been closed since July 1st 2022.
During the afternoon of the occupation, apart from shallow and hypocritical negotiations, the UvA executive board (CvB) didn't make any concessions towards this spontaneous event, which was promising an autonomously and collectively run space, where people could meet, learn and organize away from university's rotten hierarchies and power structures. ASS does not stand behind these negotiations. We do not expect anything from the university anymore, we take or create it ourselves. We stand behind this stance even more seeing that the only thing the CvB did was to call the ME to crush the movement and silence its participants violently. That night, 30 people were arrested from both occupants inside the building as well as protestors outside. Cops beat protesters harshly. Among us some are bruised, others wounded. If not physically, the police left psychological and emotional marks on us.

Why did this occupation happen?
The goal of this occupation was to achieve the three following demands:
1) The UvA must cut all ties with Shell
2) The UvA must ensure transparency in terms of funding and collaborations with the fossil industry
3) The UvA must turn the occupied space (AAC) into an autonomous space for students and staff to discuss and educate themselves on decarbonization,democratization, and decolonization.

Why did Autonomous Student Struggle decide to take part in this action?
We decided to take part in this action for several reasons.
First of all, the demands aligned with our values. As an anarchist student group, we believe that universities should be a place where free and horizontal exchange of knowledge takes place, not a place for companies to format/create their future capitalist soldiers. We find it outrageous and scary that there are such close ties between the university and Shell, and that there is such a lack of transparency about it. We are anticapitalists and therefore decide to fight against the climate crisis, which is a result of our capitalist and neoliberal society. Universities, such as the UVA, who work together with fossil fuel companies while doing greenwashing bear a responsibility in the climate crisis.
Secondly, this action was a way to show that students are not only passive and obedient puppets. We have strong political beliefs and are ready to fight for them. This occupation was the coming together of different student groups. Even though we have political differences on certain points, we decided to put them aside for this common action, as we figured that accepting a diversity of tactics is essential if we want to break this oppressive system down. During the day of the occupation, we were joined by other students, but also squatters, students from previous occupations, teachers, and many others who are supportive of our struggle. On the 16th we occupied the university but our anger is not confined to the university walls. Academia is just one element of the problem. In order to actually break away from the capitalist nightmare in which we are living, we need to join forces with everyone, not just other students. We are also well aware that the student movement is mainly composed of middle-class European citizens who can afford to get a higher education. Let's not forget that our struggle is a class struggle and that one of the main problems with the university is how inaccessible it is, and how it gatekeeps knowledge.
Finally, during this occupation and what will follow from it, we want to put forward the other aims we have been standing up for since ASS existed. Monday's action highlighted once again how fucked up the ties between the university and cops are. We insist that cops have no place in universities and academia. We want a place where it is safe to learn and where the people who are supposed to share their knowledge with us are not the same that call the cops to beat us up!

While we strongly stand behind the three main demands of this occupation, we will not stop at them.
Our other aims are as follows:
Free food
Free housing
Free public transport for everyone
No study fees & student debt
Direct democracy at university
Decolonize university & end patriarchal violence at universities
End 0-hours contracts & casual contracts
Cops out of academia

Tbh, there would be no universities in a truly anarchist society. We would just be chilling and sharing knowledge horizontally. This society isn't there yet so in the meantime, we occupy universities hihi!

What now?
Come organize with us, and join the general assembly surrounding the university occupation on the 24th of January at 6 pm in front of PCHofthuis.
Or come join our next ASS Assembly on the 6th of February at 7 pm at Vossiusstraat 16.

Idealen ontruim je niet, kraken gaat door!
They evicted our occupation but they did not evict our convictions! Let's make use of the energy we have to get together, organize politically, and take further direct actions.
We need to continue spreading information about neo-liberal practices in universities. Whether it is letting its "respectable" name be used to greenwash for the fossil industry, actively collaborating with the police to violently break up student protests (and performing research for the police), or hiring private companies that cater unaffordable food.
Capitalism creates an abundance of crises that only can be solved when we (the people) can organize and mobilize. This is a call for direct and autonomous actions.


Tags: occupation students UvA


And never renounce!!

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