The Institute of Social Sciences at the Humboldt- University of Berlin (HU) is occupied until further notice. Hundreds of students, members of the institute and supporters are protesting against president Sabine Kunst’s (SPD) decision to lay-off the lecturer Andrej Holm.
Submitted to Enough is Enough
The occupants are adopting the following statement (January 19th):
We vehemently reject Sabine Kunst’s decision. Kunst justifies her decision with alleged legal requirements and declared – contrary to the assessment of various lawyers – to have not had room for any other decision. We believe that the dismissal of Holm is clearly a political decision. Without the deprivation of confidence by the Red-Red-Green Senate, in particular by the ruling mayor Michael Mueller (SPD), the presidency would hardly have had the need to terminate Holms employment. We therefore demand that the termination of Holm’s employment is revoked, or alternatively a new permanent position is created for him at the Institute of Social Sciences.
On January 19th, the General Assembly of Humboldt students declared its solidarity with the occupation, joined the demands and asked representatives of the trade unions at the HU to advocate for the remain of Andrej Holm . Further messages of solidarity arrived from other universities in Berlin as well as from the rest of Germany.
Holm is a representative of/ stands for critical research, that also intervenes in urban and housing policy issues outside of the university. Neoliberal urban policy, which impacts peoples everyday lives through rising rents, lack of housing and marginalisation is also affecting students. A critical examination of this area in the academic field is just as essential a part of scientific research as the demonstration of possible political interventions.
For this reason, we advocate an expansion, not a restriction, of critical and independent curricula at the Humboldt- University. We therefore agree with the demands of the General Assembly of Students for fully funded universities instead of market dependent third-party funding, precarious teaching conditions and an elitist excellence initiative.
The dismissal of Andrej Holm also stands for decision-making processes within hierarchical university structures, which are taken against the explicit will of the student body. The handling of the teaching department “Diversity Politics” by Prof. Dr. Ina Kerner at the Institue of Social Sciences last year also exemplifies a university policy against student interests and against emancipatory science. With our protest, we therefore advocate for a stronger inclusion of students in the university decisions.
The occupation of the institute is a protest against the dismissal of Andrej Holm and also stands for our idea of self-governed teaching as an alternative concept to conventional, hierarchical teaching structures. During the occupation, a program of workshops and lectures is organized on the basis of grassroots democracy and a networking platform is created for university members and those interested in the city. We call upon all interested students, lecturers and university employees, tenant associations, social organizations, trade unions and individual activists to support the occupation and to engage in an exchange with us.
We appreciate Andrej Holm as a researcher, teacher, and activist, and position our protest in the context of an engagement for critical science and social urban policy for all.
2) http://www.refrat.de/article/news.46.html?1484830681 <http://www.refrat.de/article/news.46.html?1484830681