Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 97 16:52:19 CST
From: Workers World <>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Workers around the world: 12/11/97
Article: 23707

Students demand education

Workers World, 11 December 1997

On Nov. 27, some 40,000 students converged on Bonn to fight cuts in education spending. It was the biggest student action in 20 years.

Chancellor Helmut Kohl is at the forefront of a Europe-wide effort to cut government spending on social services. For university students, the proposed cuts include new tuition fees of up to $5,000, aggravating a situation in which facilities and services are already scarce.

The Nov. 27 action was backed by boycotts of classes at 50 universities and colleges around the country. Students blasted government plans to spend $13 billion to produce the Eurofighter warplane. For a billion marks—6.5 Eurofighters or 6,481 smart students: Which do we need more in the future? read one banner.

Student action has been on the rise since students at Hesse University launched protests in late October. On Nov. 21, classes were replaced by boycotts, sit-ins. Sympathetic professors held classes off campus.

On Dec. 1, students launched another week of protests. Two thousand blocked a highway in the western city of Bochum.

The student demonstrations coincide with rising unemployment—especially in the former German Democratic Repub lic in the east. On Nov. 23, the Economics Ministry predicted that 5 million people could be out of work by this winter. That would be the most unemployed since the Nazis took power in 1933.