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Old 11-25-2010, 04:29 PM   #1
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Protests all over Europe

YouTube - University of Strategic Optimism

at Lloyds in London.

Comments: "Great work. Since Lloyds is mostly owned by the taxpayer now, that was your bank. Tell the merchant banker in the white shirt that he works for you."

After occupating the Tory headquarters two weeks ago, this week there were 12 occupations at lecture rooms all over England.

And the Senate House: YouTube - Student protestors occupy Senate House grounds

Italy: the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum in Rome were briefly occupated today. Yesterday protestors walked into the Italian Senate.

STUDENTS OCCUPY LEANING TOWER OF PISA, STORM COLOSSEUM | Italy

I haven´t seen a lot of mainstream media coverage though.
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
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And it's not just in the streets.

YouTube - 'The Euro Game Is Up! Who the hell do you think you are?' - Nigel Farage MEP
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:55 PM   #3
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I have been reading about this in the news papers lately,

here in California higher ed costs have gone up recently and students are protesting. I don't know what European countries provide, but here in the U S only grades 1-12 are publicly funded. University costs are not paid by Government.

Many if not most government agencies are running deficits with these current economic times. I think occupying buildings is doing more harm than good.
These protests are counter productive.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:58 PM   #4
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The student protests here are pretty much nationwide and not specifically 'student protests' either. This is more a reaction against Government cuts to the Education system at large (i.e. massive cuts in the funding of state schools, cuts in University funding - namely for Arts & Humanities subjects, the cutting of 'Education Maintenance Allowance' provided for school children coming from lower income bracket homes etc.) - but was sparked in the proposals to up Student tuition fee's from being just under £4,000 p/a (which most disagree with anyway) up to £9,000 p/a.
It's a particularly contentious point seeing as the Liberal Democrats, who recently formed a coalition govt. with the Conservatives, signed pre-election pledges contrary to this. They gained a large proportion of the student vote with their 'anti-tuition fee' agenda and ALOT of people feel this sharp turn around is undemocratic, at best.
I'm a current student and in full support of the demonstrations. Our last national protest, on Wednesday, caused quite a stir. I think that this first wave of protests is a sign of things to come in the UK - this current issue is just one of many beginning to unfold.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11828882
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
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I fully agree that the students should not be screwed like this, but it's an awful pity the Labour government didn't balance the books properly.

The establishment, whether Labour or Conservative, doesn't like young people and/or is threatened by the prospect of young people becoming educated. Dull, compliant, servile sheep is what they want. Big Brother watching cannon fodder for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or whatever war they invent next. I honestly believe there is an organised plan to under-educate young people so that they are more malleable to the dictates of the neo-liberal elite.

If cuts need to be made, and unfortunately they do, here are a few suggestions:

Sack some of the middle aged overpaid civil servants with their gilt-edged pensions. Invite Cameron himself to take a pay cut or donate some of his enormous family wealth to the Exchequer. Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. Cut the defense budget in half. Get rid of the security state, whose function is not to protect the British public from terrorism but rather to spy on them. Abolish all the Nu Lab quangos and sack all their staff. Evict illegal immigrants and cut off their benefits.

It's time to get angry.
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post

The establishment, whether Labour or Conservative, doesn't like young people and/or is threatened by the prospect of young people becoming educated. Dull, compliant, servile sheep is what they want. Big Brother watching cannon fodder for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or whatever war they invent next. I honestly believe there is an organised plan to under-educate young people so that they are more malleable to the dictates of the neo-liberal elite.

If cuts need to be made, and unfortunately they do, here are a few suggestions:

Sack some of the middle aged overpaid civil servants with their gilt-edged pensions. Invite Cameron himself to take a pay cut or donate some of his enormous family wealth to the Exchequer. Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. Cut the defense budget in half. Get rid of the security state, whose function is not to protect the British public from terrorism but rather to spy on them. Abolish all the Nu Lab quangos and sack all their staff. Evict illegal immigrants and cut off their benefits.

It's time to get angry.
Very true. Good post.
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
I fully agree that the students should not be screwed like this, but it's an awful pity the Labour government didn't balance the books properly.

The establishment, whether Labour or Conservative, doesn't like young people and/or is threatened by the prospect of young people becoming educated. Dull, compliant, servile sheep is what they want. Big Brother watching cannon fodder for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or whatever war they invent next. I honestly believe there is an organised plan to under-educate young people so that they are more malleable to the dictates of the neo-liberal elite.

If cuts need to be made, and unfortunately they do, here are a few suggestions:

Sack some of the middle aged overpaid civil servants with their gilt-edged pensions. Invite Cameron himself to take a pay cut or donate some of his enormous family wealth to the Exchequer. Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. Cut the defense budget in half. Get rid of the security state, whose function is not to protect the British public from terrorism but rather to spy on them. Abolish all the Nu Lab quangos and sack all their staff. Evict illegal immigrants and cut off their benefits.

It's time to get angry.
Good grief FinanceGuy I'm gone thirty seconds, come back and you're finally making some sense! Completely agree with all of this, couldn't have put it better myself. With only a slight disagreement on the Quango's front. And if I entirely ignore that last line too.

There's only so long before the 'for the sake of the economy' argument begins wearing a little thin, especially when those cuts are damaging something as important and symbolic as education. Which seems counter productive in the long run anyway, in terms of 'for the sake of the economy.'

It'll be interesting to see how the press and public begin reacting to the increasing protests, anyway. Either solidarity or a shift in public sympathy. I'm rather hoping not the latter.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:05 PM   #8
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London's finest exposed as liars yet again, wouldn't be the first time:

Quote:
video shows mounted police advancing towards the protesters at 1min 10secs Video footage has emerged showing mounted police charging a crowd of protesters during this week's tuition fees demonstrations, the day after the Metropolitan police said tactics "did not involve charging the crowd".

Tens of thousands of school and college pupils and university students demonstrated in largely peaceful protests across the country against government plans to increase tuition fees and scrap the education maintenance allowance, but there were violent scenes at the central London protests. Hundreds of protesters were corralled or "kettled" by police, and later advanced upon by mounted officers.

Many who were in the crowd complained of being charged by police on horseback.

Police have denied that mounted officers charged at protesters; however, a five-minute video posted on YouTube last night shows a number of officers on horseback advancing at speed through a crowd of people.

Jenny Love, 22, who graduated from Bath University in July, said mounted officers "charged without warning".

"When the horses charged I was fairly near the front of the demo, where we were very tightly packed in, and found myself very quickly on the floor where I assumed the foetal position and covered my head while people simply ran over me," she said.

"Thankfully another protester picked me up before I could suffer any serious damage."

Love described the charge "as pretty terrifying" and said she suffered bruising during the ordeal. "I'm very angry that the mounted police were ordered to charge on a crowd containing many people like me who were only interested in peaceful protest," she said. "Police chiefs should think themselves lucky that no one was more seriously injured."

Naomi Bain, a member of support staff at Birkbeck University, was at Whitehall on Wednesday to protest against the government cuts. She said: "We were right at the front of the crowd. I've been in a lot of protests before, so we weren't particularly scared of police shouting at us and telling us to move. We were standing our ground – until the horse charge.

"I don't think I've ever seen anything quite so frightening. I've seen police on horseback, but this was like a cavalry charge. There was a line of police on foot, and they just moved out of the way, then maybe a hundred yards down the street there was a line of police on horseback. We'd been standing firmly and just moving back slowly, but when the police on horseback charged, that was the moment when we absolutely ran."

Bain said she was standing with school and college pupils, some as young as 15, when mounted police advanced. "There were people who fell down who would have been under the horses' hooves if they hadn't been grabbed – and these were really young kids as well."

Jonathan Warren, a freelance photojournalist who was at the protest, said mounted police advanced "with no warning". "There was a line of police officers, which parted, and then the police on horseback just started charging," he said, adding that protesters were left "angry and scared".

Archie Young, 18, who was protesting with his mother, Josa, said he was left bruised following the charges. "I was at the forefront of the crowd of protesters that they charged, yes – my left boot still has a hoofprint-shaped mark on it from where I was trodden on," he said.

Yesterday a spokesman for the Metropolitan police said: "Police horses were involved in the operation, but that did not involve charging the crowd." He added: "I dare say they [officers policing the Whitehall demonstrations] were doing the movements the horses do to help control the crowd for everyone's benefit, which has been a recognised tactic for many, many years, but no, police officers charging the crowd – we would say, 'No, they did not charge the crowd.'"

However the spokesman did also say that charging was a "quite specific term". His rebuttal came after the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, told a Metropolitan police authority meeting he had "no reference" to police officers on horseback charging at protesters.

The Guardian witnessed a charge by police mounted on about 10 horses shortly after 7pm on Wednesday near Trafalgar Square. The incident occurred when about 1,000 protesters had gathered outside the kettle to call for those inside to be released. Some began hurling missiles and surging forward.

In a co-ordinated move, the riot officers, who numbered about 100, simultaneously retreated to the sides of the street, allowing the horses to come forward approximately 100 metres. Panic spread through the crowd as protesters sprinted away. Witnesses said it was the second time police had charged with horses in the space of an hour, with unconfirmed reports of a young man having been trampled.

The police denial that officers had charged was strongly disputed by people commenting on the Guardian's coverage of the protest aftermath yesterday.
Student protests: video shows mounted police charging London crowd | UK news | guardian.co.uk
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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Uniiversity tuition is much cheaper in Europe than it is the U.S. How did Europe manage to keep the fees so low? Until now. 5000 dollars or eruos pick your currency, would put you through one year of Community College, not any University.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:56 AM   #10
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We are all Socialists, remember?
In Germany, tuition fees have been introduced only two years ago, and not in all states. The maximum a university can charge per semester is a fee of €500. Compared to even the UK, that's nothing. Still there have been lots of protests, and it goes against the promises of the government to give everyone in the country access to universities. They say, if you come from a poor family and cannot afford the €500 you will get help and all, but still it remains at least a psychological barrier for many from low income families. Further, no country has such a poor upward social mobility, that is, people who can progress from e.g. working class to getting into a leading position, or the academics, as Germany has. Your social background defines what you will be more than in any other country, due to our three-tier school system.
I come from working class parents and am now studying, which makes me a member of a declining minority. With the introduction of the €500 fee in many states, it's more than likely that the number will further decrease.

I feel inclined to agree that this development is not by accident. You need stupid masses to consume the shit that's being offered.

And the latest police action in London, as financeguy posted, well, few people who have been active politically can possibly be blind enough not to see a structure in it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:13 PM   #11
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Further, no country has such a poor upward social mobility, that is, people who can progress from e.g. working class to getting into a leading position, or the academics, as Germany has. Your social background defines what you will be more than in any other country, due to our three-tier school system.
Really? This is interesting, I did not realise that. In Ireland most members of the current Cabinet, for example, hail from comparatively ordinary lower middle class backgrounds. On the other hand, the legal profession is still dominated by people from exclusive backgrounds that attended fee paying private schools. With science/engineering and corporate life, I think it is possible to advance to high positions even if one hails from a humble background. For example, a guy I went to school with (and it was an ordinary school, certainly not exclusive) is now the head of one of the US multinational's Irish divisions, for example. Another guy who went to the same school some years before me became head of Bank of Ireland. I don't think either of these people had glittering academic careers either. I had thought that this type of social mobility was similar in Germany but seemingly not.

On the other hand, I am not saying that the degree of social mobility in Ireland is anything to be proud of. There is a huge underclass (not a nice word, but I can't think of any other) whose children stand little or no chance of progressing in life. If you had a known blackspot address (certain dodgy areas in west Dublin, for example) on your CV as your home address, even in the boom times, this would count against you no matter how good your qualifications were.

I thought that social mobility had improved in Britain in recent decades, but looking at the likes of Cameron and Clegg and London Lord Mayor Boris Johnson, it seems that the chinless upper class wonders are back in charge. It was interesting seing the top bankers testify to Parliament in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008, most of them had plummy Eton accents.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:49 PM   #12
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I just googled it for the UK and it seems, according to a OECD study, that things have changed a little for Germany since I've last done reading on the topic:
OECD: UK has worse social mobility record than other developed countries | Business | guardian.co.uk

According to that, the UK has a pretty poor record, followed by Italy and the US before France and Germany. Not surprising to me to see Canada, Norway or Denmark to do relatively well.
Over the past three decades, upward mobility in the industrialized countries generally decreased, and the US always had, contrary to its image, a relatively low rate of upward mobility.
In the German companies listed in the DAX index, over the past fifteen years only Siemens had a CEO hailing from working class. Usually, the only access to top management in listed companies, but also many mid-sized ones, is relationships and heritage.
Studies about school attendance in Germany found, that only a minority of Gymnasium students, the highest tier, has working class parents, while they are dominant in the so-called Hauptschule, the lowest tier. Your social background pretty much defines where you will go to school, and we have yet to find a way to change that in any meaningful way.
A few years ago, when the debate about "class" gained new relevance due to the labour market, health care and other reforms, the term "precarity" was made mainstream, but in essence it just meant those who lost out, ie. the underclass.
If you want to make it in politics in Germany, to this day you need to join a party around age 14, do your networking in the youth organisations, and stay in the area where you come from. Then you can slowly climb the ladder and maybe enter into national politics. It's pretty much a club of old friends in most parties, and it's not too hard to guess what most of their background is.

I'm sure examples of people in Germany who made it exist, I know there are, but they are a small minority. And the establishment is doing everything to keep it at that.
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:18 PM   #13
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^ When I taught in France for a summer several years back, I remember being puzzled one day when a colleague passingly referred to himself as having less seniority (read: lower pay, further from opportunities for advancement) than colleagues X, Y and Z, whom I knew hadn't been teaching anywhere near as long as he had. I asked how that could be, and as I understood it, his explanation was that X, Y and Z were all graduates of the grandes écoles, therefore they'd been counted as civil servants (which all academics are in France) from the time their higher education commenced--complete with money going into their retirement accounts, a guaranteed job upon graduation, and "seniority" equivalent to however many years' higher study they'd completed. Students from the regular universités don't get those advantages. I'm sure it's not common for them to wind up in academia either, but talk about having the deck stacked against you. It's funny, because here in the US the (negative) stereotype of civil servants is, stupid backwards underachieving lowlife who couldn't have made it any other way, so he becomes my postman or whatever.

The way HK does it is even more screwed up. Only students who scored in the top 18% on their DSEs (A-Levels, basically) get admitted to the public university system, which is heavily subsidized, so tuitions are very low. Anyone else wanting a higher education has to pay full price to attend one of the private universities/colleges. You can guess who scores in the top 18%--overwhelmingly, children of upper-middle-class and upper-class families, who attended the (expensive) private academies growing up and, as secondary-school students, had (expensive) "teach-to-the-test" tutors on the side, preparing them to ace their DSEs. I found it painfully ironic to be serving as a resident "expert," brought there on government grant to advise on academic curricular and structural reform, in a system which a kid from my background almost certainly couldn't have gotten into in the first place.

Of course, here we're pretty much letting ever-decreasing subsidization achieve all this from the get-go. You still don't have to be an elite student to get into a good US public university, but it's getting harder and harder to afford it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:04 AM   #14
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The elite in France is a closed society. The politicians all have attended the écoles, many have been classmates there before going into politics and now it's a little bit like a club of old school friends and other members of the same institutions. As far as I know it's the same for upper management, and it certainly is the case for all public companies, such as railroads.
They know each other since childhood and it's little surprising that they're working together so well.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:32 PM   #15
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George Carlin.

YouTube - George Carlin on American Owners and Education
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