Date: Sat, 29 Nov 1997 11:44:48 -0800
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
Subject: students on strike all over Germany (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 1997 11:54:50 -0800
From: Andreas Hippin <>
Subject: students on strike all over Germany

Students on strike all over Germany

By Andreas Hippin, <>, 29 November 1997

There is a big strike going on at German universities and Duisburg University where I am studying has joined in as well.

There are national aims such as financial support from the state for students to enable them to study without being forced to do jobbing most of the time, more money for the universities for better education, more democracy within the universities, e.g. there is a legitimate students' parliament in Northrhine-Westphalia, the federal state of Germany Duisburg is situated in. But there are no such public bodies in Bavaria or Baden-Wuerttemberg, so students there have no means to articulate their interests.

There are also local aims which are even more important since students would like to discuss how they want to be teached, what they want to learn and how they would like to do research. There has been a large meeting of more than 1.000 students which decided to bring the strike to Duisburg last week and it has been confirmed once more in another large meeting on Friday.

One of the problems here is that many professors are neither willing nor able to offer high-quality teaching since they're busy with research for private corporations most of the time. They don't even consider it necessary to update their stats. e.g. This is a table with data published in 1991, but...errrh...there hasn't been much change anyway. That's why one of the demands of the students of economics on strike is to end lifelong employment for professors.

The media are portraying the strike as a single point movement directed at getting more funds for the universities. As a student participating in the strike I'd like to tell you that there's much more in it. Why should I gon on strike for the goals of my professors or the university? Actually I don't think Duisburg is really crowded and the funds available are allocated the wrong way, e.g. there is a library of the East Asia institute but it is only opened one hour a week although a Japanese librarian has been employed for it.

Most students are really fed up with these problems which occur in almost every faculty here. Unfortunately most of them don't think they can achieve anything by protesting against these deficits. After fifteen years of conservative rulership over Germany their generation lacks the experience that the future is wide open and everything can be achieved if you stand together. So the strike will probably be not very successful as far as concrete goals are concerned.

However it's another chance to see who's who. Actually I haven't seen to many students of East Asian area sciences out there. But they aren't famous for solidarity anyway.

On Monday 13.00 hours there will be a demonstration to the bridges over the river Rhine where Duisburg's steel workers demonstrated ten years ago against the closure of one of the largest steelworks: Krupp Rheinhausen. The bridge was blocked by the workers and their struggle has been a big issue even on national level. The students would like to express their solidarity with the struggles of other declassed groups in this society since they know that there won't be a shachoo seat for everyone although some still seem to believe that they'll be boss someday. Those are living as if they had achieved their goal already, another case of virtual reality.