Two short articles on school strikes and occupations in Germany in 2005.
School Occupation, Oldenburg, Germany
15th of March 2005 (indymedia). “Today school students from several schools in Oldenburg occupied the IGS Helene Lang School in order to protest against the current educational policy of the CDU/FDP regional government. Instead of the usual chalk and talk of class teaching, self-organised learning was on the agenda. Several topics were covered by about 50 work-shops: theatre, drumming, juggling, various sports, games and dances were accompanied by work-shops on environmental care, educational politics and social selection, antiracism and migration politics, communism and marxist critique of capitalism, drug politics and self-organisation of students. Several documentaries and political movies were shown in two cinema rooms. Nearly all work-shops reported a lively engagement and discussion. For the surprised and partly disapproving teachers there was a work-shop, too, which unfortunately wasn’t very well attended”.
School Strike in Munich, Germany
18th of March (indymedia) In March school students in Munich went on strike against having to pay for school books and tuition fees. [Based on a report from Indymedia.]
In the early morning of the 18th of March several pickets of school and university students gathered in front of grammar, vocational and secondary schools in order to start the strike. The reaction of the head-masters varied from passivity, locking in students, calling the cops to announcing threats via loudspeakers (warnings and actual threats to kick students out of school if they take part in the protest). The demonstrations which started from various schools met at 9 o’clock at Bonner Platz. There were speeches of the SDAJ (Socialist Workers’ Youth of Germany), the FAU (Anarcho-Syndicalists), and lefty students from the university. At Scheidplatz the demonstration of over a thousand students (the daily newspaper SZ reported of 2.500 participants) left the official route in order to occupy the Willi Graf Grammar School. The protesters didn’t manage to enter the building quick enough, so the head master was able to lock the school gates. Some students climbed over the fences or tried to get in through alternative entrances. In this situation the aggressive attitude of the teachers has to be mentioned. In two cases we saw teachers hitting students and one protester was handed over to the plainclothes cops and charged with assault. At the same moment the cops who were called for enforcement arrived and blocked the entrances with drawn batons. The slogans sprayed within the school area underlined the demands of the students: ‘Everything for Everyone’, ‘Education for Everyone’ and ‘One Solution - Revolution’.
The demonstration after the failed occupation
The demo headed towards Münchner Freieit and the cops were eager to prevent the students from passing another school. There were a lot of black-and-red flags and a band was playing on the truck of the FAU, the atmosphere was good, although the USK (nasty Bavarian riot squad) appeared and accompanied the demo. Later on about one hundred students walked to the Max Grammar School in order to liberate the students who were still locked in. In front of the grammar school riot cops chased some of the arriving students. We don’t know if there were any arrests. After that about 500 people gathered in a spontaneous demo and joined the student demo at the Geschwister-Scholl Platz.
School occupations are an extension of possible activities and have been successfully put into practice in other places (link to school occupation report from Oldenburg [see above]). In future we need better preparation. Compared to the following demo, the school strike had a clear anti-capitalist and left-wing character, also the atmosphere was better. For more information: http://www.kostenlose-bildung.de/