Youth in Revolt: Fightback spreads in Germany

Occupations in 17 colleges and universities!

"This university is occupied! " "the Ruhr burns!" . These letters adorn the walls of the main auditorium of Duisburg and Essen universities, in the Ruhr region of Germany. During a plenary assembly of students in Duisburg, when the right-wing ‘University General Students’ Committee’ made an attempt to undermine the planned education strike on 17 November, the students responded by taking control themselves.

Several hundred pupils at Duisburg and Essen universities decided to occupy the lecture halls. During the following hours, discussions about demands and further action took place. In Duisburg, it was decided to distribute leaflets the following morning to staff and students explaining the reasons for the protest. Is unclear how long these occupations will continue. However, it is clear that Essen and Duisburg students will be strongly mobilised on 17 November in opposition to worsening conditions and tuition fees.

”This university is occupied!”

The main demands of the pupils are for the withdrawal of tuition fees, greater freedom within degree course schemes, the restructuring of the courses, no to the ‘marketisation’ of the university, as well as master guarantee. SDS (Student Organisation of the Left Party) and SAV (CWI in Germany) members seized the initiative to make links with trainees and employees of the Thyssen-Krupp steel company in Duisburg, who are threatened with massive cuts and attacks. During the discussions, the necessity of wider resistance was stressed against the dismantling of public education and cutbacks in the social welfare system.

Sebastian from Duisburg

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November 2009