Priama Diia (Direct Action), for student control

Priama Diia (Direct Action), for student control

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Patrick Le Tréhondat

The new Ukrainian student union Priama Diia, refounded in February 2023, is full of activity in defending the interests of the university community. We publish three statements from the union which relate its activities against real estate speculation, the renovation under student control of a university damaged by bombings, and finally the control of shelters in universities. This last question is very sensitive in Ukraine. Many Ukrainians trying to take refuge in shelters find their doors closed. On the night of June 1 in Kyiv, during a Russian attack, a 33-year-old woman and another woman accompanied by her nine-year-old daughter were killed while trying to take refuge in a closed shelter. This tragic story caused great emotion in Ukraine, forcing the government to announce an audit of shelters throughout the country. A few days later, an french journalist, under bombardment in Kherson, reported that she too had found the closed door of a shelter in which she was trying to take refuge with local residents. In Zhytomyr, on August 1, a nursery class was unable to take refuge in a shelter on the grounds... that they were tenants and did not pay charges relating to the maintenance of the shelter.

In a recent interview with Commons, the union explained that "students are participants in the [educational] process and should play an appropriate role in the management of academic institutions. " A sign of its development, the union will have a newspaper and announces the publication of a manifesto by the end of the year. In August 2022, Katya Gritseva and Maksym Shumakov, two Ukrainian students, told us “We need to rebuild a left-wing student union in Ukraine”. This prospect has become a reality.

Failure of real estate speculation

“Last year, a estate company announced that it would benefit from a contract on the territory of the Kyiv National University of Theater, Cinema and Television. The building land had been sold by the university, due to an artificial debt created by the past management of the university. On October 6, students launched a petition to overturn the Kyiv City Council's decision to sell this land. The petition was supported by the student union Action Directe. The decision was subsequently challenged in court and on September 5 this year, the court had to rule on its validity. The day before the trial the student union Priama Diia  (Direct Action) declared: “We call on students of Kyiv universities and all those who care about them (universities, colleges, institutes) to come tomorrow, Tuesday, September 5, at 4:30 p.m., to the following address: 5, Velyka St., where the final hearing of the case will be held. » On the day of the hearing, September 5, around a hundred students, with signs and slogans, came to defend their right to quality education - and achieved their goal. The speculators' operation was foiled by the court. The union welcomed the court's decision: “This story proves once again that student action is important and that we are capable of overcoming the system in which we find ourselves. Thank you to everyone who came to this action.”

Student Control Committee

“Students of the Lviv Polytechnic School suffer from the inaction of the university administration. Many buildings in Lviv were damaged by enemy missiles on July 6. Residents of the dormitories of the Lviv National Polytechnic University were also unlucky: they were deprived of a large part of the windows. A temporary solution to the problem was to replace them with films and plywood sheets.
Despite assurances given by the administration on social media that work in the dormitories would be completed by September 30, the issue remains unresolved. The situation is exacerbated by an intense cold snap, which makes life in the dormitories impossible without additional heating. From October 10, the Lviv Regional Meteorological Center predicts frosts and a drop in temperature to 0°C. Therefore, if urgent measures are not taken to install windows, the premises will be uninhabitable. In response, we are launching a campaign against the arbitrariness of the administration of the Lviv Polytechnic. Together we managed to create the "October 11 Student Committee", which is responsible for auditing the process of installing windows and doors. The administration is committed to reporting to this structure. The committee included residents of the affected dormitories, students and representatives of Action Directe. The possibility of waiving dormitory fees for the period when living conditions are not satisfactory was also discussed. Representatives of the administration assured that the repairs will be carried out gradually and should be completed by November 7, and the heating of dormitories No. 4 and No. 10 will be turned on earlier. In the event of non-compliance with the promises, the committee will re-mobilize the students concerned for protest action. »

Since then, the medias has reported on the replacement of windows hastily organized by the university administration. Ukrainian television reported on the situation at the Lviv Polytechnic School by giving the floor to two representatives of the union :

Safe shelters for students !

“ In a war context, the question of security conditions for studies in educational establishments and accommodation in student dormitories arises with particular urgency. To protect students and staff from the devastating effects of future bombings, the government has proposed recommendations on how to organize shelters in educational institutions. However, to what extent do Ukrainian university administrations conscientiously comply with these requirements and what is the state of our shelters?

We are launching a shelter inspection campaign in school buildings and dormitories to draw public attention to the real situation of security measures and create space for the fight for safe and comfortable shelters.
To do this, we have created a channel where we will publish information about the results of the audit, so join us We call on
everyone who wants to participate - write to us about the state of shelters in your universities/dormitories using our bot - @priamadiabot. If you are ready to participate in the verification, write to @garriardo and join the campaign!

The union has already controlled a shelter

26 September, our activists have visit the university national of medicine veterinarian and of biotechnology S. Z. Hzhytskyi Lviv, located almost at center of Lviv. On there base of the results of the control, we found that :

  • The shelters are reported by of the panels and of the registrations.
  • The entrance east narrow, the doors are small, he will be difficult for several people to enter has the interior in even time.
  • Not equipment of extinguishing of fire.
  • The shelter is not waterproof, it y has of the cracks, none ventilation is not available.
  • None lighting is not available.
  • Bathroom and faucets water no found.
  • There are chairs to sit on, but there are no waste tanks, food containers, medical equipment or means of communication.

Conclusion: This university's shelter looks more like a catacomb than a safe haven during rocket attacks. »

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