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
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  • 65


  • Carl S.
    18 hours

    Am I lifetime the world has ended 3 times Y2K and every other major disaster in the world was supposed to end the world and I hasn't happened yet tell me when it happens would just cause I'd like to know

  • Dave W.
    a day

    You like brainwashing children with lies and then using them to promote your agenda of lies? Just like HITLER!

  • Dave W.
    a day

    Little Hitler girl! Get a Clue Morons! she is a paid actor!

  • Tom C.
    a day

    Putting that whiny, autistic Greta in the same class as the Hong Kong protesters is ridiculous.

  • Roger W.
    a day

  • Brett G.
    2 days

    What the hell does a spoiled little girl know about the world

  • Chris D.
    2 days

    Those protest were for real human rights not socialism.

  • Demetri S.
    2 days

    So some worthy causes and some over privileged self righteous idiots.

  • Rama L.
    2 days

  • Phil C.
    3 days

    Trashy Propaganda.

  • William E.
    3 days

    They forgot to cover the results of the Greta Thunburg speech and the "climate change " protests. What are the results. I'll wait.

  • Tom S.
    3 days

    Huge difference by turning the world to s__t!

  • JA S.
    3 days

    Greta has convinced my 14 year old daughter to abandon her education. Thanks a lot, G. I can't compete with that. You suck.

  • Josh S.
    3 days

  • Kirk S.
    3 days

    Every generation takes advantage of the youth then wonder why they rebel.

  • Stuart E.
    4 days

    Take action now! Reduce your "carbon footprint." Stop exhaling CO2.

  • Janell L.
    4 days

    Strange how she looks identical to the nazi little girl that Hitler used she's probably one of those clones they brag about so much

  • Bill G.
    4 days

    Indeed. The north Vietnamese general staff admitted that the US would clobber them militarily. But Jane fonda et al. came to the rescue to make it political suicide for any US leader to continue the war. As a consequence of these wonderful protests and marches, North Vietnamese tanks were poised on the outskirts of Saigon on 30 April 1975; and once the last US helicopter left, they rumbled into town and settled scores with a vengeance. Tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of south Vietnames were imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Our exit also inspired tin pan dictators like Pol Pot to arise and kill their tens of thousands as evidenced in The Killing Fields. Anyone who recalls the protests and marches with pride should hang his head in shame.

  • Jim K.
    4 days

    The 60's brought on the nuclear threat, The 70's was the Ice age would be here by the year 2000. The 80s brought about the Acid Rain hoax and all vegetation would be gone in ten years. The 90's hoax was global warming and the polar ice caps would be melted by 2020. Well it has less than a month to accomplish this. There was Y2K in the year 2000 and we would be back in the age before electricity. On to the terror alerts that went on for years. Now we have progressed into the climate change. The only 3 things that all of these have in common. 1 they are hoaxes. 2 they elevate taxation to combat the so called threat. 3rd they increase regulations for the people to have to obey. It is time to cut out this crap people. Start to see the real picture of taking your money for a fantasy hoax and regulating your rights away are the causes for these attempted threats. The ones promoting these hoaxes are the ones making the most profit from them.

  • Janell L.
    5 days

    What about that crap being sent back and forth to space and chemtrailes and all the other crap that big Tech is doing to the planet they don't want to change they just want us (the slaves) to ride donkeys and eat grass it's all a big political pile of crap