Students in Amsterdam fight for International Workers’ Day
International Workers’ Day is not an official free day in The Netherlands. Especially left-winged action groups are not happy with that fact. Until last year, the University of Amsterdam treated it as a free day for its students and employees. After months of occupations in our capital, everything looked peaceful. Until today, when the ‘1 mei comité’ occupied another university building.There is a good chance that in your country, International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, is a very important holiday. In The Netherlands, it is not as widespread. It has it roots in socialism, and it is a celebration of laborers and the working class. In the countries surrounding us, it is an official holiday.
The occupants of the University of Amsterdam declared on their Tumblr page: “Today, on the day before International Workers’ Day, we occupied the Service and Information Center of the University of Amsterdam to demand attention for the exploitation and precarity of workers within the university, and outside of it.” Another of their statements resembles the ‘old’ demands we heard at the Bungehuis and the Maagdenhuis: “As long as the university is being run like a factory and treats its employees as a ‘resource’ or ‘means of production’ actions will continue until it is shut down.”Around 12 o’ clock, the occupants have voluntarily left the Service and Information center where they had settled. Later today, there is a party in honor of some employees that retired, and since that is the group they fight for, the students do not want to interfere.