June 17 saw over 250,000 people take to the streets in more than 80 cities across Germany. They were protesting for a better education system and their main demands were for smaller classes, 100,000 more teachers and the abolishment of tuition fees.
In Berlin, 27,000 young people marched together with university and school teachers, who were called out on strike by the union for education and science workers. In other cities, nursery nurses, who have been on strike for several weeks, also joined the protests.
The protests on Wednesday were the high point of a one week education strike held from 15-19 June in many universities. The strike was organised by Linksjugend Solid – the youth organisation of Die LINKE (Left Party) as well as other left groups including Sozialistische Alternative, the sister party of the Socialist Party in Australia.
The situation is not yet comparable to the political movements in France, Greece and Italy. However, it could be the first serious step towards building such a movement and raising the consciousness of a younger generation of activists.
During the activities that took place throughout the week, students often raised the idea that this was just the first protest of many and could be used to build structures and committees to prepare for further protests in the near future.
For many young people it is clear, that after the general election in September, the German ruling class will try to recover the money that they gave to the bankers. It will be young people and workers who will be asked to the price for this.
It is clear that we have to build a strong movement to resist attacks on education and healthcare, on pensions and on social projects. Wednesday’s strike was a crucial and successful turning point for many workers and young people across the country.
Australian workers and young people need organise similar movements to ensure that we are not forced to pay for an economic crisis that we did not create.
By SP reporters