- November 17 -

International Students' Day

International Students' Day is an international observance of student community, held annually on November 17. Taking the day differently than its original meaning, a number of universities mark it, sometimes on a day other than November 17, for a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of...

International Students' Day

International Students' Day is an international observance of student community, held annually on November 17. Taking the day differently than its original meaning, a number of universities mark it, sometimes on a day other than November 17, for a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of their international students.

Origin

The date commemorates the anniversary of the 1939 Nazi storming of the University of Prague after demonstrations against the killing of Jan Opletal and worker Václav Sedláèek as well as against the occupation of Czechoslovakia, and the execution of nine student leaders, over 1,200 students sent to concentration camps, and the closure of all Czech universities and colleges.
During late 1939 the Nazi authorities in Czechoslovakia (at that time it called the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia) suppressed a demonstration in Prague held by students of the Medical Faculty of Charles University. The demonstration was held on the 28th of October to commemorate the anniversary of the independence of the Czechoslovak Republic.
During this demonstration the student Jan Opletal was shot and died from wounds on the 11th of November. On the 15th of November his body was meant to be transported from Prague back to his home in Moravia. His funeral procession consisted of thousands of students, who turned this event into an anti-Nazi demonstration. However, this resulted in drastic measures being taken by the Nazis. All Czech higher education institutions were closed down, more than 1,200 students were arrested and sent to concentration camps, and nine students and professors were executed without trial on the 17th of November. Due to this, 17 November was chosen as International Students’ Day.

The nine students and professors executed on the 17th of November in Prague were:

Josef Matoušek
Jaroslav Klíma
Jan Weinert
Josef Adamec
Jan Èerný
Marek Frauwirt
Bedøich Koukala
Václav Šafránek
František Skorkovský
The 17th of November was first marked as International Students' Day in 1941 in London by the International Students' Council (which had many refugee members) in agreement with the Allies, and the tradition has been kept up by the successor International Union of Students, which together with the National Unions of Students in Europe and other groups has been lobbying to make the day an official United Nations observance.

Observances

In 1989 independent student leaders together with the Socialist Union of Youth (SSM/SZM) organized a mass demonstration to commemorate International Students’ Day. This fiftieth-anniversary event gave students an opportunity to voice their displeasure with the communist party of Czechoslovakia. What began as a peaceful commemorative event turned into a violent one, by nightfall, with many participants being brutally beaten by riot police, red barrettes, and other members of the law enforcement agencies. About 15,000 people took part in this demonstration. The only person to left lying where the beatings took place was an alleged body of a student who in fact was an undercover agent. The rumor of a fellow student that died due to the police brutality triggered events that the secret police probably had not envisaged. That same night, students and theater actors agreed to go on strike. The events linked to International Students' Day of 17 November 1989 helped spark the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day is today marked among both the official holidays in the Czech Republic (since 2000, thanks to the efforts of the Czech Student Chamber of the Council of Higher Education Institutions) and the holidays in Slovakia.
After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the progressive crisis within the International Union of Students, celebrations for the 17th of November were held only in few countries without any coordination worldwide. During the World Social Forum held in Mumbai, India, in 2004, some international union of students such as OCLAE and some national unions such as the Italian Unione degli Studenti decided to re-launch the date and to call for global demonstration on the 17th of November 2004. Student movements in many countries mobilized again that year and kept on observing international students' day the following years with the active support of the European platform representing student and school student organizations OBESSU and the ESU.
In 2009, on the seventieth anniversary of the 17th of November 1939, OBESSU and ESU promoted a number of initiatives throughout Europe to commemorate the date. An event in Brussels was held from the 16th to the 18th of November at the University of Brussels. The event focused on the history of the students' movement and its role in promoting active citizenship towards authoritarian regimes and it was followed by an assembly discussing the role of student unions today and the need for the recognition of a European Student Rights Charter. The conference gathered around 100 students representing national students and student unions from over 30 European countries as well as some international delegations.
Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Students'_Day

Categories:

You may also like...

Interesting events from Special category.

World Wish Day

It’s a celebration more than 30 years in the making: In 1980, a 7-year-old Chris Greicius received his heartfelt wish to be a police officer for a day. That one wish inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish® and launched the wish-granting movement that circles the globe today. World...

Eiffel Tower Opened

The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel ) is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Work on the tower commenced in 1887, and the finished product was inaugurated on March 31,...

Multiple Births Awareness Day

The day was established in 2005 by the organization Multiple Births Canada. The event also commemorates the May 28th birth date of the Dionne quintuplets. Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie and Yvonne Dionne, born on May 28, 1934, were the first quintuplets known in the world to survive their...

Industrial Workers of The World Day

With the modernisation of industry, a move from manufacturing to consumerism and a general shift in global market operations, industrial processes and businesses are much less common than they used to be. As such, it’s easy to overlook just how big a part industry still plays, and how many people...

Skyscraper Appreciation Day

Skyscraper Appreciation Day is celebrated on August 10th, the birth date of William Van Alen, the primary architect behind the construction of the Chrysler Building, the most popular skyscraper in New York City. Skyscraper Appreciation Day was started by Dr. Tom Stevens, the founder of the...

H day

Dagen H (H day), today mostly called 'Högertrafikomläggningen' ('The right-hand traffic diversion'), was the day, 3 September 1967, on which traffic in Sweden switched from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right. The 'H' stands for 'Högertrafik', the Swedish word for 'right-hand...

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet