Student protests throughout Germany, strikes & occupations

November 27, 2009

German students are in the streets; they boycotted classes and occupied university classrooms and departments and schools to protest against the situation of education in the country: German universities are in an uproar, and their students are protesting against an unfair educational system, ultra-crowded degree courses and inadequate funding. An alliance that called itself "Educational Strike 2009" called for mobilizations seeking changes in the degree courses for the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees introduced ten years ago in the European Union, in accordance with the so-called "Bologna Reform," with the aim of harmonizing the structure of tertiary and university studies in the European Union. This front [i.e., of students on strike] is led by the student organizations of the party "Die Linke" that seeks only the improvement or reorganization of the educational sector, although for most participants in the strike there is an obvious connection between, on the one hand, the economic crisis and bailing out businessmen and, on the other hand, the poverty of the educational system they are experiencing. However, since a wave of protests in June, a spirit of struggle against the poverty of education has been maintained, and, motivated by the seizure in the University of Vienna, now in 30 universities and some high schools, dean’s offices, classrooms, and departments have been symbolically occupied. The movement is spreading, but has only a radicalized minority, and its demands have not been gone beyond the merely educational terrain. The students have experienced the strength of unity of action, as in this week’s demonstrations in more than 50 German cities, but have also gained the experience that, despite their efforts, they did not get anything. Now there are political discussions in the universities, institutes and workplaces, to analyze how the movement can advance and how they will be able to win the demands around a free education without fees. Together with the other revolutionary organizations, we are raising the need for self-defense against the attacks of the bourgeoisie, through worker-student unity and by fighting not only for toppling the Bologna Plan, but also for constructing a perspective that allows us the full democratization of the university and to struggle so that the university will no longer serve the interests of the bourgeoisie.