“A University of the People, for the People!”: Solidarity with EPA

“A University of the People, for the People!”

Solidarity with Students for Autonomy, San Carlos University, Guatemala (Estudiantes por la Autonomía, EPA)

As students, workers, and community members in the United States and Canada struggling in defense of public education, we have been immensely strengthened by the example of movements in resistance against the privatization and neoliberalization of higher education across the world: in the Phillippines, in South Africa, in Puerto Rico and El Salvador, in Greece, Austria and various countries in Europe.  Now our solidarity and support turns to Guatemala and Students for Autonomy of the University of San Carlos (Estudiantes por la Autonomia, Universidad de San Carlos, EPA-USAC) and their allies, who have maintained the University under occupation since August 9 in protest against the systematic violation of the USAC’s constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

We state our support for the principle demands of EPA, and condem the reduction of student votes in the election of the University’s Board of Directors, due to a 2007 decision of the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, with the support of the University Administration (Consejo Superior Universitario, CSU).  We support EPA’s opposition to the increase of tuition fees at Guatemala’s only institution of public higher education; as well as the imposition of entrance exams and punitive measures against students who must repeat courses.  Policies which, in addition to increased fees, result in the progressive elitization of public higher education.  We support EPA’s call for the full funding of San Carlos University, as guaranteed by the Guatemalan constitution.

We call on the USAC Administration to negotiate in good faith and immediately implement policies to protect and restore students’ rights and the political autonomy of the University.  We reject the Administration’s calls to confrontation with students who have taken direct action in defense of their rights, and ask that no reprisals be carried out against these students.  We denounce all threats against the students of EPA and their allies, as well as any actions by State security forces which would violate the physical autonomy of San Carlos University.

Public higher education is a right, not a privilege or a private commodity.  We join EPA in calling for Universities which meet public needs and respect the rights of students and workers.

In solidarity,

[Please sign in the comments with your name, university, organizational and union affiliations, and messages of solidarity!  Signatures will be passed on to EPA.]

Mural by Ramirez Amaya at the USAC Campus, Guatemala City.

Mural by Ramirez Amaya at the USAC Campus, Guatemala City.

About cascadiasolidaria

Human rights and solidarity activist from Cascadia, North America, writing about issues of justice and security in Guatemala and Central America from a perspective of solidarity with human rights and social movements.
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36 Responses to “A University of the People, for the People!”: Solidarity with EPA

  1. Fernando Urrutia says:

    Thanks for the support! It’s incredible how this communication technologies alows everyone to feedback about any worldwide problematic, Im not a direct member from EPA but as an USAC’s student I do understand the requests they have and let me tell you that they are correct on each and every topic they have made.
    Maybe the occupation is what have bodered some students, and the USAC administration have use this to create confrontation between students, but in this moment I remember that fragment of “Capitalism a love story” in which Mr. Moore claims that during the 2008 elections the republicans talk so much about “socialism” and “comunism” that a new generation went to the libraries to undestand those ideas, maybe not to support the ideas but at least to get some political concepts, now a new generation at the USAC is knowing about “autonomy”, students rights, resistance and solidarity, and no matter if EPA “wins” at least some educational progress have been made.

    PS. excuse me if I have some mistakes on the redaction.

  2. APfr10 says:

    Thank you for post, this situation and help the San Carlos students by informing to the peolpe the situation of our university
    regards

  3. David Golding says:

    David Golding
    University of Washington
    NISGUA/ACOGUATE

  4. Chanell Hasty says:

    NISGUA/ACOGUATE

  5. Neftaly Bravo says:

    Additionally it is important to report that the student rights movement has been attacked by some local media (Prensa Libre, Noti 7, canal 3, Radio Sonora) of manipulating the information who are trying to make this move illegitimate, criminalizing students and misinforming the people about the real issues.

  6. Eli Semke, North Seattle Community College, PLQ says:

    In solidarity

  7. Jennifer Fletcher says:

    Amazing work — EPA is an ongoing source of inspiration to organizers fighting privatization of education in the US.

  8. Chris Chapman says:

    in solidarity

  9. edlira says:

    Fantastic!!!!!!!! Am sharing it in the FB, maybe we can start a solidarity and information page in FB? Solidarity, Edlira

  10. Olimpia Boido says:

    In solidarity

  11. Aaron Bates says:

    Thank you for your work with EPA.
    Aaron Bates
    Breaking the Silence
    Halifax, NS Canada

  12. I appreciate this post, Phil! I’m in Quezaltenango now and it’s hard to get accurate, up to date information about the student struggle. I do know I’m inspired!

  13. Chris Hansen says:

    Sign me as a supporter of the EPA at USAC.

  14. Manuel Leitner says:

    Solidary greets from Karl Franzens University, Graz/Austria
    You’re doing a great job! Keep goin! ;)
    Manuel Leitner

  15. yvette michaud says:

    Universities should remain public and accessible to all.

  16. Sam Pearse says:

    In solidarity with the students of the EPA.

  17. Nacho says:

    Hi everybody, i think thats correct the EPA decision, because if there is not people like those, no one will do the same. We should support this movement for the AUTONOMY. Live USAC, live AUTONOMY, live EPA. take care.

  18. Sue Ellen Kingsley says:

    Copper Country Guatemala Accompaniment Project

    In solidarity

  19. Graco
    Commonspace L (commonblogl.net)
    Seoul, S. Korea

  20. Tyler Shipley says:

    Solidarity.

  21. Valerie Croft says:

    In solidarity.

  22. Simon Granovsky-Larsen says:

    Thanks for this update; please add my name to the list of signatories.

  23. Victoria B says:

    Solidarity.

  24. Kevin O'Dell says:

    In solidarity with the students of the EPA.

  25. Sanjid Anik, VP Finance
    Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson, Toronto, ON. CANADA
    Local 105, Canadian Federation of Students

    **free education will free your mind, fight for your right**

  26. Fraser Turner says:

    In solidarity.

    Fraser Turner
    Student – St. Thomas University
    Breaking the Silence Network
    Moncton, NB
    Canada

  27. Pingback: Universidad de San Carlos Occupation « occupy california

  28. the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) at the University of Ottawa would like to sign on.

    In solidarity with the students of Guatemala,
    OPIRG-Ottawa

  29. Kelly Black says:

    Kelly Black
    Carleton University
    Local 78, Canadian Federation of Students

    The Students United Will Never Be Defeated

  30. Strax says:

    Solidarity from students in New Brunswick, Canada!

  31. Amanda Kistler says:

    animo compañer@s!

    Amanda Kistler, EEUU
    Center for International Environmental Law
    NISGUA/ACOGUATE
    Needham Congregational Church

  32. Rebecca MacDonald says:

    En solidaridad con los estudiantes de San Carlos –

    Rebecca MacDonald
    Steelworker’s Union – District 6
    Breaking the Silence – Maritimes – Guatemala Solidarity Network

  33. John Carlaw says:

    Please add my name to the endorsers list.

  34. SPIN says:

    The Latin American Trade Unionists Coalition of Canada just passed a resolution at its national convention in solidarity with EPA and their demands from the CSU.

    Letter should be forthcoming shortly.

  35. David Brown says:

    In solidarity. Long live educational & human freedom.

    University of Massachusetts Amherst.

  36. Ashley Williamson says:

    in solidarity!

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    NISGUA/ACOGUATE

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