in Protest of the Budget Cuts on Education
By JOSEPHINE SYLVESTRE | April 19, 2019
On Friday, April 12, about 100 students and residents danced from 2 pm to 5 pm in protest of the budget cuts on education. The ‘Outraved’ dance demonstration started at Binnengasthuisterrein by the Oudemanshuisport (OMHP) campus. It followed a meaningful itinerary, walking past Dam Square, PC Hoofthuis and Roeterseiland, and was led by a series of DJs on wheels.
Protesters were seen wearing red squares pinned to their clothing, holding banners and chanting messages such as: “no if, no but, no education cuts,” and, “education is a right,” to the beat of the music.
There was one arrest at the end of the demonstration.
The student activist organisation Humanities Rally organised the event. One protester, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the reason he had come to the demonstration was that there had been no improvement in the situation despite so many protests last year. In his opinion, it is important to “keep it [the movement] alive.”
Due to the UvA’s real estate affiliations, they are often accused of putting the business side of things over students education.
A member of the Humanities Rally, Hanna preferred not to disclose her last name. A 21 year old European Studies student at the UvA, Hanna thought the dance protest was a “fun and accessible way to protest,” making it a good option to mobilise more people. She also highlighted that the crowd was not solely made up of students, but also locals. Students are not the only ones who have been affected by the neo-liberalisation of Dutch national spending over the past two decades. In 1997, social housing in Amsterdam was privatised; directly affecting many of the less affluent people in the city, causing them to be priced out of their own homes.
Isabel Bonnet / The Amsterdammer
The word ‘outraved’ (a combination of ‘raved’ and ‘outraged’) combines two stereotypical student pastimes, protesting and partying, acting as the catchword for the event. European Studies student, Anna Boyce (21) noticed that the women’s bathrooms on Roeterseiland Campus had received a ‘tap-upgrade’ in the recent months which came to a surprise given the budget cuts. This tap upgrade consisted of new taps that had built in hand dryers, despite the old Dyson hand dryers’ presence, 2m away.
Student protests about the organisation of the university started 50 years ago with the first Maagdenhuis sit-in (1969). The more recent #redsquareeverywhere movement around campus in mid-March is also linked to the protests.
Student organisations are finding innovative ways to express their discontent with the system. The concept of a dance demonstration was inspired by the anti-AfD techno demonstration held in Berlin on May 17, 2018.
With the quality of education at the forefront of the collective social mind in Amsterdam, we are likely to keep seeing more – and more different – protests around the city.
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