“Hello, we are from a team of protestors in Eotvos Lorand University and we would like to have your attention for a while.”. These were the words of a group of 3 people who unexpectedly interrupted our Tuesday class.
“We want to inform you about the new measures that the government wants to take and then we will ask you if you want us to stay and have a discussion with you, or just leave the classroom.”.
I immediately thought “very democratical” and my first thought was about the situation in my greek university. In Greece, as you all know, the social situation is so terrible that the education field had become part of it; union of departments, firing of the staff, reductions of salaries. Greek people in despair took the streets and started to protest. Especially in Panteion University of Athens, we had a one month lockdown. Nobody could go neither to the university nor attend a single class. Some people had taken initiative and locked the classrooms and stayed inside.
In my opinion, the cause of the protest was reasonable but the way it was demonstrated was wrong. That is the reason I really appreciate the democratic way of thinking.
Therefore, thousands of Hungarian students, teachers, and education trade union members have recently protested in Budapest against the government’s austerity measures in the public educational sector. It was their first organized protest rally and it was a successful one as Hungary’s prime minister decided to amend his reform proposal saying that he has understood that university and college education must remain free, but students should meet the necessary entry requirements.
In Greece however, perhaps it’s the frequency of the protests that doesn’t allow the government to act. This is due to the fact that, fortunately or unfortunately, Greeks are prone to object and complain about even the slightest issue. It grew into a habit.
The issue is that people who are disappointed from any changes and who want to gain something, they have to find the right way to stand up for themselves and go against the government; not by closing the universities, not by using violence and vandalism, not by disallowing other people from doing their daily routine.
Good luck to all of you who want to change the world.