Nieuws - 25 maart 2011

Students jump into lake in The Hague

A group of students jumped yesterday into the Hofvijver, the lake in The Hague next to the Dutch Parliament buildings, to hang a protest banner on the little island in the lake. With the slogan 'Education is everyone's right', they rallied students to demonstrate against the cabinet's plans today.

The students are trying to 'keep their heads above water' despite the government's plans, explained one of the demonstrators. And they made it: 'The swimmers are now taking a shower. The police arrived too late to stop us, but they'll probably get a boat to remove the banner.' 
The demonstration was organized by a number of independent student committees in Nijmegen, Utrecht and Rotterdam. These do not want to let things be concerning the fine for over-studying and the budget cuts in higher education. 'We are disappointed that the LSVb are not staging any more protests. They are putting in a lot of effort and lobbying is also important, but we believe that things won't work out without pressure from the grassroots.' 
The organizers have hung banners all over the country last week. They are expecting five to seven hundred students to turn up for the demonstration, after which they will discuss what to do about future student protests. 'We have to find a way to stop the cabinet's plans, and ward off new attacks at education. Before you know it, the entire higher education could be privatized at one fell swoop.'
A protest has also been scheduled to take place next Tuesday. This is being organized by a group of students who are 'concerned about the state of higher education' and has the support of the FNV trade union for youths and the youth organizations of the Dutch Labour Party, Socialist Party and Green Left.