Austria: The Great Second School Student Strike on December 12! (with Photos and Videos)
Report from Red*REVOLUTION (Youth Organization affiliated with the Austrian Section of the RCIT), 12.12.2013, http://www.redrevolution.at/
At least 5.000 school students marched today through the inner city of Vienna in protest against attacks on education rights. In addition smaller demonstrations of school students in other Austrian cities took place. The school student strike was called by Red*REVOLUTION (the youth organization affiliated with the Austrian Section of the RCIT). It was a protest march not only against the plans of the Austrian government to increase the pressure on school students for their final exams. It was also a protest march against the capitulation of the official leadership of the school student “trade union” which accepted these attacks.
As we already reported, Red*REVOLUTION has initiated these protests. We organized a first school student strike in Vienna on 6.12. (1) When the official school students leadership capitulated in secret negotiations with the government and called off a planed strike on 12.12., Red*REVOLUTION immediately started to mobilize for a strike on that day. This received a huge response amongst the school students and caused other organizations – including the school student organization of the social democratic party – to join the strike. The social democratic student group has opposed our strike campaign from the beginning and instead supported the tactic of negotiations and delays of protests. This was no surprise since the minister of education who is responsible for the attacks is from the social democratic party in the coalition government.
Red*REVOLUTION mobilized in many schools for the strike. At the demonstration we organized a huge and militant contingent as can be seen in photos and videos on our website. (See the links below)
As a revolutionary organization we combined the protest against the attacks on education with anti-racist slogans as well as slogans in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle. This also reflects the composition of our contingent as well as of the Red*REVOLUTION membership which is working class with a high share of migrant youth. A number of the school students in our contingent – many of them not members of our organization – knew us already from the demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine in November 2012 and against the military coup in Egypt in the last few months.
It should be mentioned that the social democratic school student group and the centrists (CWI, IMT, Workers Power/LFI) formed an unholy alliance against Red*REVOLUTION. They used their financial resources (the social democratic youth group receives regularly huge sums from their mother party) to organize and to monopolize the loud speaker bus and to stop us leading the demonstration. This created some chaos and disorganization in that part of the demonstration which they dominated with their technical means. However despite their united efforts to weaken the dominance of Red*REVOLUTION at the demonstration, they could not avoid making it visible to all school students that our organized contingent was many times bigger than theirs. The difference between our contingent and theirs existed not only in size but also in discipline. While we had a well organized and highly disciplined contingent with many stewards (see pictures of our contingent), their contingent was completely chaotic. As a result a number of dangerous actions (throwing bottles etc.) took place in their area which injured several school students. They could not suppress this since they didn’t have a considerable steward team.
The demonstration proved again that Red*REVOLUTION has grown massively in the past weeks and has become a significant force amongst the vanguard of the school students. The struggle continues!
(1) See our reports in English language: Austria: School Students protest against attack on education rights! 25.11.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/austrian-school-students-protest/; Austria: School Students go on strike for their education rights! 5.12.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/austria-school-student-strike/; Austria: Successful School Student Strike on 6.December 2013! 6.12.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/austria-successful-school-student-strike/; Austria: Red*REVOLUTION calls for a second School Student Strike on December 12! 10.12.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/austria-2-school-student-strike-on-12-12/
For more reports in German language go to the website of Red*REVOLUTION at: http://www.redrevolution.at
Links to pictures and videos on the Red*REVOLUTION website:
We plan to upload more photos and videos in the coming days. Watch out!
Link to Television Interview with Marc Hangler (Spokesperson of Red*REVOLUTION) in W24 (private TV Channel): http://www.w24.at/Guten-Abend-Wien/795645 (Minute 03:20)
Some links to reports in bourgeois media:
ÖSTERREICH: Mega-Demo: 4.000 Schüler legen Wien lahm, http://www.oe24.at/oesterreich/politik/Mega-Demo-4-000-Schueler-legen-Wien-lahm/124630932
Kronen Zeitung: Schüler- Demos gegen Zentralmatura in 6 Städten, http://www.krone.at/Oesterreich/Schueler-Demos_gegen_Zentralmatura_in_6_Staedten-Nein_danke!-Story-386160
Kurier: Tausende Schüler demonstrieren gegen Zentralmatura, http://kurier.at/politik/inland/tausende-schueler-demonstrieren-gegen-zentralmatura/40.502.629