While most Georgians are celebrating Christmas in the comfort of their homes, some students in Georgia celebrated Christmas occupying the university.
Georgian Students are not satisfied with two major issues. First they are not happy with the quality of the education. And secondis misspending the budget of the current self-government.
The major protests of Georgian Students started back in March 2016, when up to a 1000 students rebelled in front of Tbilisi State University against the selection of the new chancellor, who was previously accused of misspending the budget of the self-government. The self-governmentalso organised a counter protest in defence of the chancellor candidate.
Even though the rebelliousstudents managed to remove the new chancellor, their demands became complete reform of the self-government as an institution.
The protests stopped only after the country’s Prime Minister intervened to meet the demonstrators and promise changes.
However, after a few months, students still felt that their demands were not met and renewed protests in November. Rene, a journalism student says: “This is the first time students in Georgia have managed to come together and fight for their rights to better education and better system”. The fact that they have managed to keep up the struggle for almost a year shows that Rene’s words are grounded.
At the moment, one of about a dozen buildings of the University is actively occupied. Speakers that want to show solidarity hold public lectures on various topics. Sometimes, there are even small concerts by the local singers. Students discuss the way the self-government spends the budget and what they want their educational system to look like.
“We want total autonomy, qualified professors, more funding for research, better dormitories,” – says Lola, student of psychology, who is one of the protestors.The occupation is going to continue until the students get their demands fulfilled, and if that does not happen soon, they are planning to expand occupation.