Germany: high school students strike

High School students struck and marched across Germany yesterday in protest against classroom overcrowding, lack of teachers, and the pressure of examinations.

Submitted by Django on November 14, 2008

Some 100,000 participated in demonstrations across the country, walking out of classes and marching in over 40 cities. They protested for more permanent staff, smaller classes, and against a sped-up version of the school leaving exam, called the “turbo-abitur”. School students face intense exam pressure in Germany, where they are "streamed" at the age of 10 and selected to go to either a vocational or grammar school, often determining their prospects and chances in adult life. Demands that the pressure be relieved were made, and many teachers are also reported to be supporting the students' efforts.

A 10,000 strong protest march in Berlin ended with the invasion of the prestigious Humboldt University, where the conference room and terrace were occupied and draped with banners. There are reports of university staff battling with the students to defend statues of Hegel and Fichte, and of the university president Christoph Markschies barricading himself inside his office. 8,500 marched in Hanover, 8,000 in Stuttgart, and 6,000 in Hamburg.

The protests follow demonstrations by German university students in late October against the introduction of tuition fees, and student revolt in Italy, covered on Libcom here.

Comments

tough_crowd

15 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by tough_crowd on November 15, 2008

According to a few reports, some of the demonstrators attacked a Holocaust exhibition during their occupation of the Humboldt University.
See for example: "German kids, activists destroy anti-Nazi exhibit"

Does anyone know more about this? Who did it? Why? How the other demonstrators -- some of them waving antifascist flags (as seen in this photo) -- responded, or didn´t respond?

Django

15 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Django on November 15, 2008

I haven't read anything specific about this exibit, I had read about the place getting generally trashed. It seems a lot to extrapolate from the unsubstantiated hearsay of Markisches and a broken pane that this was an attack motivated by anti-semitism or a hatred of Israel. Its obviously quite a different matter, but I doubt that attacking statues of Hegel had much to do with a hatred of dialectics. It seems more like a bunch of kids fucking shit up tbh.

Joseph Kay

15 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on November 15, 2008

did they turn hegel (statue) on its head? cos that would be awesome

Angelus Novus

15 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Angelus Novus on November 17, 2008

Ben Weinthal's a good, solid reporter. He's the correspondent in Germany for Labor Notes, so I think he's quite reliable.

The incident is pretty horrible, but I can't say I'm surprised. It's time to get over the notion that the left is immune from anti-semitism/racism/sexism and other bad things, simply by virtue of being left.

Today on the U-Bahn, I saw a news report that the head of the HU has invited people to a podiums discussion to discuss the incident.

wangwei

15 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wangwei on November 22, 2008

admin - comment deleted. That type of comment is not acceptable

greengreenred

15 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by greengreenred on December 22, 2008

So its making the rounds that Libcom is allowing openly antisemitic comments on their website now.

Unless you think that Palestine Solidarity work and antisemitism are the same thing, i hope you remove this comment very soon.

Submitted by tough_crowd on December 22, 2008

greengreenred wrote:
Unless you think that Palestine Solidarity work and antisemitism are the same thing, i hope you remove this comment very soon.

Can you explain what trashing a Holocaust exhibit has to do with palestine solidarity?

greengreenred

15 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by greengreenred on December 22, 2008

the comment that was removed linked the two.

Bubbles

15 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Bubbles on March 27, 2009