Student Strike in Cologne 2006

The Beginning:

Boss of the University Senate Faction Die Linke


The beginning of the strike was kind of surreal. I had

heard that something had been approved but I had not

foreseen the chaos that was to ensue when all the

students turned up for class only to find the Die Linke

faction of the University senate present handing out

leaflets, giving their messages out to their generals from

their command bunker in in the centre of the

philosophical faculty, and barricading off the classrooms

with a row of steel and plastic seating. “No, you’re not

going to classes today are you? Cross my picket line at

your peril”, she said with an icy stare. So, even though I

found it rather inconvenient at first and wanted them to

solve the overcrowding issues and lack of sufficient IT

resources at the university, I had no choice as to

whether 500 euros student tuition fees per semester

was viable for me or presented value for money.


However, I do believe that a yes to tuition fees as it was

at the University of Essex is a slippery slope to paying

11,000 euros a year. This was to be the second phase of

the introduction of fees. The first stage to charge for

people staying on and doing a second BA where they

could have previously enjoyed total academic freedom

for nothing proved very unpopular and the

management had won that process. So, the students

had fallen back behind the lines of protecting their

rights to a first degree for free.


Many of the staff were complicit.

Being the NRW a traditionally socialist area of the

country many people were for the status quo of zero

fees and Professor Reuvekamp-Felber who taught us

medieval German upstairs where the classrooms were

open was even inclined to say, “The official line is that

you are to go to class and stay here, but I’m not going to

complain if you want to disappear downstairs and

defend your interests!” or words to that effect. They

were lovely the staff of Cologne University it would

never happen at any university in England now.


The Protest on Albertus Magnus Platz

The Senate Meeting / The Verdi Boys

Baton Rounds

Freimuth Gets the Boot


Oh, to be a Student as the Violets are Blooming!
Oh, to be a Student as the Violets are Blooming!