Students occupy Amsterdam Univ. building

P.C. Hoofthuis, Amsterdam
P.C. Hoofthuis, AmsterdamPhoto: Vysotsky / Wikimedia Commons

A group of students occupied the P.C. Hoofthuis of the University of Amsterdam on Friday. They are protesting against government budget cuts and the "erosion of education", ANP reports.

The students, calling themselves Autonomous University Postcolonial House, barricaded the entrances of the building on Spuistraat and hung a red banner from the roof. The banner reads: 'Autonomous University'.

A protest march is also happening in Amsterdam on Friday. The March for Education 2.0 will start on Binnengasthuisstraat at noon. In addition to Amsterdam students, students from other cities are also expected, according to the news wire.

Several lectures had to be canceled on Friday, as the occupation includes a number of lecture halls. According to two of the protesting students, many lecturers are positive about this protest because they are struggling under a high work load.

The university asked the students to "leave voluntarily", but the occupiers said that they will not leave until their demands are met. Among other things, they want the government to scrap their plan to abolish dividend tax and use that money to benefit the public sector.

University of Amsterdam chairman Geert ten Dam and Dean of Humanities Fred Weerman are on their way to talk to the protesting students.

Over the past week several universities campaigned for more money for science education. Action group WOinActie wants the government to invest 1.15 billion euros into academic education and reverse a budget cut of 183 million euros.