Augsburg and Hannover, January 17/18th:
Rallies for Free Education
In the struggle for free education a broad alliance called for rallies in Augsburg (Bavaria) and Hannover (Lower-Saxony) on January 17th and 18th respectively.
Bavaria and Lower-Saxony are the only two federal states (out of 16) in Germany left charging general tuition fees at universities.
In five other federal states tuition fees were abolished again after massive protests in the past few years – e.g. most recently in North-Rhine Westphalia.
That the demonstrations were initiated now is no coincidence. In Bavaria a popular referendum aiming to abolish tuition fees kicked off on January 17th. For it to be successful almost 1,000,000 people need to participate. It is likely to succeed, recent polls suggest that around 74% of the population reject the idea to charge people for the opportunity to study. The referendum ends on January 30th.
Up to 2,000 people participated in the rally in Hannover and 600 in Augsburg. At least in Hannover protesters did not just express their rejection of tuition fees, but also focussed on the abolition of fees linked to the access to education in general – incl. kindergarden.
Many students in Bavaria and Lower Saxony also protested during the Global Education Strike in November 2012.
website of the referendum: volksbegehren-studiengebuehren.de
In Lower-Saxony elections for the parliament of the federal state are scheduled for January 20th. Opposition parties are supporting the call for the abolition of tuition fees – at least for now.
Let’s see if tuition fees will be abolished across Germany in the coming months. That would also be an important signal for the struggle on the global level.
videos and pictures of the rallies:
banner says: for a society based on solidarity! – tearing down barriers in the access to education!