17 November 2009

Against Stuff

I ran into a protest march of some sort on Ludwigstrasse today. I think the marchers were objecting to having to pay tuition fees at university.

Bavaria is one of a number of German states that introduced tuition fees for higher education a couple of years ago. Students pay a maximum of 500 EUR per semester. This isn't exactly big money - 1000 EUR per year - but having had free education for so long having to pay any amount seems to be unacceptable.

Die Linke, the Pirate Party and the Greens were all present as well as a host of minor groups (or should I say groups I've never heard of - maybe they're big in Germany).

Tuition fees were not the only object of contempt. Some protestors were carrying banners against capitalism, though they were still wearing fashionable brand name clothing and shoes from eminent capitalist businesses like Adidas and Diesel.

Others were objecting to neo-liberalism. Funny. The German left protesting about Angela Merkel's 'neo-liberalism' in Germany are the mirror image of the American right protesting about Barak Obama's 'socialism'.

The students may not change the law, but at least they had a nice day for their protest and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.


Jul said...

I used to teach at a German university, and I loved it when the students went on strike to protest the DM90 fees. I got a day off!

olli said...

And I'm sure you joined them on their protests like a good supportive lecturer should.