Our week began amidst ashes of riots coming from several European cities, it went on with a tragedy in Calais and its (losing) blame game between France and the UK, an emerging variant of the virus that is plunging the entire world into a new wave of psychosis and an agonizing Black Friday still showing up across the world.
Pandemic and education
Pretty much as a mirror of last year’s epilogue, this new normal of increasing daily restrictions is showing us how wrong we’ve been in taking for granted certainty as the base of our lives. The Netherlands has not been an exception from the global wave of measures, however education has remained a sector of offline priority. Due to this, students from the Faculty of Law have filed a petition to the University to take this period’s exams online, for they claim the risk of contraction on-site exams imply is too high. The University has invited three student representatives to a meeting on November 30 where the issue will be further discussed.
The English Channel saw 27 lives being lost last Wednesday after a new crossing from Calais with people seeking refuge in the UK turned out to be fatal. This figure adds to the 166 reported dead or missing during crossings since 2014 and to the 1,600 fatal victims in the Mediterranean Sea only this year. Despite the severity of the disaster, France and the UK have been passing the blame ball to each other instead of taking proactive measures to provide safe refuge to migrants in need and avoid deadly crossings. After a public letter sent on Friday by the UK’s prime minister –which has been criticized for pivoting the blame for the tragedy to France–, the French government has responded by uninviting the British home secretary to today’s inter-ministerial meeting.
Orange the World, November 25
The International Day For the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 was a new chance to speak loud how women are still today disproportionally affected by daily acts of violence. This sickening reality has been increasing in many European countries, especially considering COVID-19 a factor behind it. Gender-based violence is by far the most unacceptable virus of our society and must be structurally eradicated through institutional equality and means that prevent, educate and protect the victims. The United Nations has launched this year a 16-days global campaign of activism to prevent and end violence against women.
Countering Black Friday
Black Friday showed up once again (although with less success than in the previous years) and made the Maastricht-based creative agency Viastory launch a campaign against it. Their aim is to raise awareness on the negative effects this American boom of discounts have on nature and people. Through the “I am not buying it” catchphrase, the campaign aims to push people to purchase less while looking into the origins of what we consume.