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Berlin 8,000 school students strike
Strikes in the public sector are currently shaking Berlin's political landscape. Thousands of striking school students have also been marching through the Berlin inner city.
Anne Engelhardt, CWI
Fewer teachers, less years to complete school, larger classes and also the introduction of an annual charge of €100 per school student for teaching materials make the school situation in Berlin a catastrophe.
The school students demanded 3,000 more teachers, the withdrawal of the charge for teaching materials and called for a different school system so that secondary schools are not chosen on the basis of parents' wealth.
"No to super-stress" and "Rich parents for everyone" were demands that many students put on their home-made posters and banners. Members of Socialist Alternative (SAV, the CWI in Germany), who were active in the pre-strike mobilisation, produced a special edition of their paper Solidarität and spoke at the protest. The SAV rapper Holger Burner accompanied the protest with radical music.
Before the strike, activists from the "Tear down the education blockade" school students strike alliance went to many different schools in the city to build strike committees and hold political workshops to mobilise support.
Jenny Trost, one of the active members of the school students' initiative and a member of SAV, spoke at the demonstration: "Let us build a movement against education and social cuts. Let us fight together and let us give the ruling politicians and the companies behind them hell."
Now a school student conference will draw a balance of the strike and plan the next steps for new protests in the autumn. If the 'red-red' government have not fulfilled their demands by then, the school students will take strike action again.
In The Socialist 4 June 2008:
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party youth and students
Environment: Nuclear power
International socialist news and analysis