Austrian students' protests expanding through Europe

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Front of occupied lecture hall, Dresden TU
Image: Conny.

A Europe-wide student movement, started in the Austrian capital of Vienna, is developing. It started on 28 October 2009 and met with the discussions following the Conference of the Ministers for Education and Cultural Affairs in Germany on 15 October. For Tuesday 17 November — the 70th anniversary of the international students' day — a nationwide education strike in Germany has been announced. Radio Deutsche Welle reported in English about the demonstrations.

Speakers of the actions said, students are complaining that universities are underfunded and understaffed. The students' protest concerns the Bologna reforms and the tuition fees.

On Wednesday, 11 November some 600 students at the Free University of Berlin had occupied the largest auditorium of the central building of the humanities in the suburb of Dahlem. Afterwards actions took place in Tübingen, Munich and Basel, each with hundreds of participants.

The Potthoff building, a lecture hall of the Dresden TU has been occupied since Monday, 9 November. Actions also took place in Utrecht, Turin, Rome, Lublin, London and Birmingham.