After the government announced cutbacks of 183 million euros on higher education, the University of Amsterdam and especially the Humanities and Social Behavioural Sciences faculties were the first ones to suffer the consequences.
A Week of Protests
WOinActie-WeekThe initiative aims to bring the government’s attention on students and teachers’ discontentment
The Week in Photos
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”8″ gal_title=”A Week of Action at UvA”]
Last week, student associations ASVA, Humanities Rally, University of Colour and Disability and NU! brought back the attention on the issue by organizing what they called “Yet Another Night of Protest” at Oudemanhuispoort campus and CREA. On Monday night, the protest kicked-off the WOinActie-Week.
“There are enough people [inside],” said one of the representative of the protesters inside the building. After the students entered in the building earlier in the morning, it took the university one hour and a half to be informed of the occupation. Protesters asked the University of Amsterdam to go the Hague to present their demands. Among them, the activists wish to stop the student loan system and come back to how it used to be: providing monthly financial aid to student with lower incomes.
March for Education 2.0
“At the beginning it was completely peaceful; the police were not intervening […] but then the police blocked the street and made the people who were standing in front of the building leave. They all had sticks and I did see someone getting hit. […] The horses went into the crowd […] The crowd was big; if someone fell they could’ve been trampled on very easily. Then to move the rest of the people sitting in front of the building, the police were dragging them across the floor, or carrying them by force.”
– A student from the faculty of Humanities, who wished to remain anonymous
Around mid-day, the protesters decided sit down in front of the doors of Hoofthuis and had planned to stay put until their claims could be heard. Andrea Rossignoli / The Amsterdammer
The student party NU! invited the students to gather in front of P.C. Hoofthuis in a Facebook group to show support for the protesters.
“The ASVA Student Union supports these students in their call for better quality of education, more accessible education, and inclusivity, democratisation, diversity, and decolonisation.”
– An official communicate by the student association ASVA
The evacuation of P.C. Hoofthuis ended at 7pm, above 15 hours since the occupation started. While many voluntarily left the building after the police arrived, 31 students were arrested and brought to the police station by a GVB bus. According to a student who wished to remain anonymous, the police was violent.
“They pushed people to the wall and grabbed a girl’s face. Every time I tried to see what was going on they would hit my face to the wall.”