6 Student Protests Around the World

From Paris in 1968 to Hong Kong in 2019, student-led protests have made a huge difference in politics.

6 student protests that have made a difference

  1. U.S. students strikes in 1970

On April 1970, President Richard Nixon’s decision to expand the Vietnam War into Cambodia led to campus protests. At Kent State University, National Guardsmen confronted and killed 4 students and wounded 9. For many people, especially young, it was a shocking example of a heavy-handed authoritarian they saw thriving in Nixon’s America. Soon, over 4 million students shut down over 450 campuses across the U.S. The widespread action soon shifted public opinion about the ongoing war.

  1. May 1968 in Paris

Students opposed to the 1967 university reforms demonstrated en masse, invading the Nanterre and Sorbonne Universities in Paris and initiating a strike supported by trade unions and workers in May and June 1968. This was the first strike of its kind seen in France. Charles De Gaulle's government sought to alleviate the movement by increasing salaries by 14% reducing working hours improving retirement conditions.

  1. The Soweto uprising

During the apartheid era, a decree was issued by the South African government in 1974 stating that Afrikaans — a language inherited from colonial Netherlands must be introduced into the black population’s education centers — to the detriment of their indigenous languages. Meanwhile, white students could choose which language would be taught in their classes. Thousands of black students from the Soweto district in Johannesburg protested in the streets on June 16, 1976, demanding equal treatment, social guarantees and better education. The images from this violent repression showing hundreds of dead students traveled the world, exposing the violation of human rights of John Vorster’s government, and flagging the beginning of the end of apartheid.

  1. Maple Spring strike in Quebec

In April and May of 2012, the suggestion that university fees should be increased by 74% inspired thousands of students in Quebec to demonstrate. The student movement gave rise to massive protests against Jean Charest’s government, who then decided to ban it with the introduction of Bill 78 — which prohibited picketing and protesting near university grounds to dial back the convening of demonstrations, the bill stated that police approval must be sought to assemble. This extreme measure outraged the people of Quebec even more and led to a change in government after the September general elections. In the end, the increase in fees was not applied, and the Bill 78 was abolished.

  1. 15-M Movement in Spain

The indignant movement had as its focal point the Puerta del Sol, Madrid, the place of culmination for a demonstration convened by student organizations and pro-democracy groups on May 15, 2011. A spontaneous camping session that very night paved the way for a series of peaceful protests which extended all across Spain against political and economic corruption, the two-party system of the PP and the PSOE, something which became crystalized in the political panorama with the emergence of new parties.

  1. Protests in Hong Kong

Hong Kong was a British colony until being restored to China in 1997, but was meant to have a "high level of autonomy" until 2047. But according to Hong Kong citizens, the Beijing government is interfering more tangibly. In June 2019, a draft legislation to authorize extraditions to China triggered widespread demonstrations. That was led, for the most part, by student movements, who were reclaiming, among other things, the right to universal suffrage. Faced with the force of the protests, the Hong Kong government had to retract, and officially suspend the draft legislation.

  1. Global climate strikes

The climate crisis is the main driving force behind the School strike for the climate a student movement where students strike every Friday, every week of the year, across the globe to demand that direct responsibility/direct actions be taken against the alarming deterioration of the environment. Greta Thunberg became a key figure in the movement by organizing a demonstration in front of Swedish parliament in August 2018. In September 2019, she delivered a powerful speech at the UN General Assembly in New York which fiercely condemned various world leaders.


11/12/2019 11:23 AM


  • James H.
    01/18/2021 23:43

    Go home . It's just for attention. No one will know you in a year .

  • Daniel R.
    01/01/2020 00:55

    Site should be butt hurt

  • Jim C.
    01/01/2020 00:18

    Yes and the protesters spit on the soldiers as they got off the planes returning to the U.S.

  • Alex T.
    12/31/2019 20:08

    A puppet act when someone pulls the strings .

  • Barry M.
    12/31/2019 18:39

    Didn't see any masks on the faces of Viet nam war protesters.

  • Dave V.
    12/31/2019 12:35

    those punks cornerd the national guard..they got what they deserved

  • Michael B.
    12/31/2019 04:44

    Climate change is a hoax and these kids are gullible enough to believe anything these so called teachers tell them, pushing their fake agenda!!

  • William S.
    12/30/2019 15:35

    I remember Our service personal getting spit on here in The States for sacrificing themselves and secure Freedom....The same people today would prefer to toss out a drink or a meal then feed a homeless or needy Vet....Let me tell you how screwed up you are...The Students in China are waving American Flags there while the students here are burning them...YOUR FAKE NEWS !

  • David T.
    12/30/2019 14:28

    Yeah I was at the 1970 protests boy at things change now we got crazy children running around saying that climate change going to destroy the world and all this insane stuff we must stop this yes stop this crazy climate change crap

  • Branden A.
    12/30/2019 12:58

    What exactly has greta done? Any discernible effect?

  • Keith G.
    12/29/2019 18:21

    But then unfortunately we have people and groups such as ANTIFA who are misinformed and ignorant with some being that way by choice .

  • Larry R.
    12/29/2019 12:20

    Been whining and crying ever since and we let them get away with it. Why?

  • Joey C.
    12/28/2019 18:55

    So sad. Most of them had no clue about the facts behind their protests, just as today's Antifa. Gandhi, the American Founders, and MLKjr, on the other hand, knew exactly what the facts and the argument were.

  • Jacob T.
    12/28/2019 11:04

    Poor little girl... She should be on the other side of the ocean on her parents yacht with twin diesel engines

  • Robert B.
    12/28/2019 04:14

    In 1968 the N. Vietnamese wanted to go to the negotiations table for peace, their leaders changed their minds after seeing the protests. Sometimes protests works and sometimes not.

  • Joshua M.
    12/27/2019 23:49

    STOP pushing this crap 🤦‍♂️

  • Jimmy N.
    12/27/2019 22:48

    Putting Greta up with real people trying to solve real problems has cheapened those other people Greta was fake it was for a documentary she's f****** rich as hell so she don't give a s*** what happens she wants to tell people they have to buy new electric cars I'm sorry Arnold Schwarzenegger is not going to give us all electric cars f****** don't put Greta in the same category as these other people

  • Patrick M.
    12/27/2019 18:12

    Ya at what price?

  • Stephen R.
    12/27/2019 00:51

    tools of the far left now

  • Mark M.
    12/26/2019 16:32

    Libtards are pathetic idiots

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

By continuing, you agree to receive emails from Brut.