Solidarity University

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"A few minutes ago, the Solidarity University (kritische und solidarische Universität = KriSU) was founded in Vienna, Austria. KriSU-activists revitalized rooms which are vacant since 2 years for the public. KriSU reacts on the fundamental social, ecological and economic crisis of capitalist society. It sees itself as a part of the global university protests. Elfriede Jelinek, famous Austrian writer, declared her solidarity: „I am glad to support this action, since I would support any critical initiative weakening those encrusted university structures.“

An international wave of solidarity has been carrying KriSU since its start had been announced. Paul Singer, secretary of state for solidarity economy in the labour ministry of Brazil stated: „This is the first project of a real democratic, open and solidaric university. I hope, that it will thrive and become an example for a new paradigm of education in a more equal society.“ Anup Dash, professor of sociology at the university of Utkal, India says: "I should first of all congratulate you on this wonderful and much needed initiative, and I am sure it will soon build up the philosophical and social foundations for an alternative knowledge system to support the great transformation of the global social order that we are all working in different ways to realise."

KriSU is working for a solidarity economy to overcome poverty and existential fears. It is open to everybody willing to produce and share knowledge in a self-managed and cooperative way, not requiring formal education degrees. „A solidarity university must not support economic growth as and in itself and competition, but has to make wealth available for everybody“ emphasize activists. One of them working for an agricultural research organisation in Austria states: „Time is ripe for public discussion of the responsibility of universities for the disastrous ecologic and societal conditions and for drawing consequences.“

The principles of KriSu are (1) a lively connection between research, education and practical activities, (2) self-management, feminism, anti-racism and engagement against anti-semitism and islamophobia, (3) non-commercial character, (4) independence from the state, (5) education for solidarity economy and a solidarity economy of education by means of research, mediation and development of self-managed, community-oriented and cooperative ways of production.

The rapidly growing list of supporters contains already more than 270 individuals from different spheres of society, both from Austria and abroad, among them members of workers councils, trade unionists, academics, politicians, students, migrants, artists and retired people such as Prof. Frigga Haug, Jean Ziegler, Lisbeth N. Trallori, Robert Menasse, Prof. Birgit Sauer, Robert Misik, Lieselotte Wohlgenannt, Erich Hackl, Maria Vassilakou und Prof. Norbert Dimmel. A dense program with well-known artists, speakers and scientists is starting immediately." (

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