Solidarity – why and how?

Berlin, 20.07.2017

Call for a first meeting in Berlin on July 22 to plan solidarity campaign with Darfuri student protest against State racism in Sudan

In 2002 – the year before the international announcement of the war in Darfur – during a visit to my family’s town in Zalinge I witnessed high school and university students protesting against the terrible state of education in the region. There were no regular classes because teachers had been striking for a long time because they wouldn’t get paid. For one week, students demonstrated for basic infrastructures, such as health, water, electricity and education. There is no road connecting the capital Khartoum to Darfur. It takes weeks to travel to this marginalized area.

The brutal police repression of the student demonstration marked the beginning of the genocide by Sudan’s central government, also called “Darfur civil war”. In the city under curfew bodies of killed students were left to rot in the streets by the police to serve as examples. The Darfuri student movement and its education demands can be considered the trigger of the war – and could be a tool for ending it.

How many Darfuri or other students risking their life daily because of racial, religious, gender or other discriminations get access to European universities? The application and scholarship system for internationals is not sensitive to these discriminations and reproduces class privilege and exclusion. For example, Darfuri student El-Hadi Abdullah tells that he had to do construction work two weeks per month to pay for tuition fees and could hardly have excellent academic results (Source: Tarek Abd El-Galil’s article published on July 4, 2017 by Al-Fanar Media). Generally only privileged children from higher social classes can achieve this.

This has to change. Student organizations in Europe could suggest a different application and scholarship procedure and fight for it.

For sure, there are many different ways to address this issue. Let’s come together on Saturday, July 22 at 6pm at the Kunsthalle art gallery of Weißensee Kunsthochschule art university in Berlin to discuss this week’s mass protest action at Bakht Alruda University and how to take action in solidarity.


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