Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Between 3,000 (police estimate) and 8,000 people (organiser's estimate) took to the streets in Gießen, Germany today, protesting the planned introduction of tuition fees at Hessian universities.
Beginning at 1pm CEST (1100 UTC) students, pupils and ordinary citizens marched through much of downtown Gießen, accompanied by a massive police presence, in the largest demonstration the city has seen in years.
They occupied the office of the Regierungsbezirk and the city office.
From 4 to 7pm, at least 200 people also blocked the Berliner Platz, the most important inner city crossing, bringing most of the downtown bus and car traffic to a standstill. The crowd dispersed after the police threatend several times to clear the crossing by force.
Students unions from all parts of Hesse called for the joint demonstration in Gießen.
In July, the Hessian state legislature is due to pass a bill that would require all undergraduate students to pay a tuition fee of 500€ per semester; graduate students could be charged up to 1,500€.
== Sources ==
"Mit Trillerpfeifen in den Verkehrsstau" — Hessischer Rundfunk, May 31, 2006
Werner Tuchbreiter. "Demonstration in Gießen" — Polizeipräsidium Mittelhessen, May 31, 2006