Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/557/6627

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 November 2008

First ever all-Germany school students' strike

Participation greater than expected

One hundred thousand school students went on strike on Wednesday 12 November. This was the first ever national school students' strike in Germany. The largest was in Braunschweig (Brunswick) with 10,500 on the streets and thousands poured out onto the streets in many other cities and towns.

David Redelberger (Kassel) and Angelika Teweleit (Berlin), SAV (CWI, Germany)

In May and June the increasingly angry mood among school students was obvious - 40,000 went onto the streets against the poor conditions in the schools. The idea to call for a national strike and a national conference in September was then born. SAV (CWI Germany) members played a vital role in publicising this and helped to organise both the conference and the strike.

Crucial to this national mobilisation were demands around which the movement could unite. Firstly, there was opposition to the so-called 'reform' of the Abitur, the school leaving and university entrance exam, which would put enormous pressure on school students and teachers.

Secondly, the demand was raised for smaller classes. At the moment, there are often more than 30 school students in one class. The demand is for classes of 20 maximum, which means around 100,000 more teachers are needed.

Thirdly, there is the demand for free education for all and an end to 'social exclusion'. This was a very important demand and ensured that strike mobilisation was strongest in schools with a high working class composition.

A lot of younger school students took part in this strike compared to previous actions. It is clear to young people that something is going fundamentally wrong when bankrupt banks get a rescue package worth 500 billion, but the sick education system is suffering from huge deficits. Many activists raised wider political issues during the school movement, and welcomed discussions about socialist ideas. Karl Marx is back on the bookshelves!

The authorities tried to stop the school strikes, sending letters to parents and school students warning that participation in the strike will be punished. In many schools the date of the strike suddenly became a date for exams. The day before the strike, some newspapers claimed left radicals were trying to influence young people and 'use them' for their own ends. None of this succeeded in holding back the numbers of students taking action - participation was even greater than expected - which meant widespread national and local media coverage.

The huge success of the strike was due to the self-organisation of the school students. In many schools, action committees were set up weeks before and they ensured that everyone at the school knew about the strike date, the demands and why it is important to strike, even if there are threats of repression.

Discussions about how to proceed will take place over the next few weeks. An important issue will be to combine the protests with workers' struggles and to get university students involved. One thing is clear: the national school students' strike has set a new tradition which many others will follow. Even if it takes a few months, the authorities will be aware that this was only the beginning. Young people are getting ready to fight back!

>>View video of David Redelberger's speech to Socialism 2008 (9:52 mins)

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 November 2008:


No Job Cuts

'We're not taking these job cuts'

Programme of action to fight unemployment is needed

JCB: Pay cuts haven't saved our jobs!


Post office closures

U-turn over post office card account

Stroud post office saved!

Coventry fights post office closure

Lewisham housing: Arguments against privatisation win

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Drop the witch-hunt in Unison fight to Defend trade union democracy

Scotland: Unison local government: Close vote on pay

Dover port workers strike

Unite/Amicus general secretary election

In brief


International socialist news and analysis

World food crisis: A systemic failure of capitalism

Democratic republic of Congo: Civil war erupts once again

G20 conference: Summit for nothing

USA: Challenging the two parties of big business

First ever all-Germany school students' strike

Eyewitness report: Italian students occupy


Socialist Students

Student democracy under attack

Privatisation = FE college students suffer


Interviews

Social workers say: investment needed

Sacked for being pregnant!


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Germany:

triangleGermany: Election results in political earthquake

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleBerlin hospital strike

triangleWomen's struggles reduced to perfume sales and career ladder

Students:

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

triangleLeeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

triangleFreshers week campaigning reports

triangleFight for free education

Strike:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

trianglePoverty, repression and fightback on the docks

School:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleYoung Socialists launched in Greater Manchester

International

International

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

6/9/17

US

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2