Dutch high school students have been "on strike" for two days now, protesting against extra school hours. They organize via instant messaging (chat) programs and mobile phones.
Your reporter was on the scene (a little too late to see the action, unfortunately).
I keep thinking of the line from "Natural Born Killers" where Robert Downey Jr.'s character says,
"When the (bleep) hit the fan at Grenada, I saw it all go down at Grenada,"
Well, I saw the Dutch student riots of '07 and I lived to tell the tale.
Earlier, some people were throwing bottles at the cops and horses (why does throwing bottles at horses seems worse to me than throwing them at cops?! Maybe it's because the cops chose to be there, while the horses didn't, and don't understand what's going on.).
These young ladies, aged 14, 15, and 14 from left to right, didn't strike me as big trouble makers.
Run away! The "MA" is the riot police, btw.
NOS has a hilarious clip where some other girls are captured on film throwing eggs in The Hague. The reporter asks one why she's there and she says "to protest against the Education Ministry." The reporter points out that the building they're targeting is actually Parliament, and she says, "oh right. Bye!" and runs away giggling.
Lots of people are bad-mouthing the students, saying
they're a bunch of spoiled brats, etc.
I can see that. But I'm kind of glad to see the kids out demonstrating. Like: the Dutch cradle-to-grave nanny state hasn't sucked all the life spirit out of them yet.
I don't know about any of you out there, but I think an 8-hour school day is plenty. As I remember it (everybody tells me I'm wrong about this), I never learned a thing in school until I was 16 or so and actually started trying to learn. Until then, school was basically like prison.
That being said, whenever I was out of school, I was up to no good _ so I guess you can make the argument that confining students all day is better for the rest of society.
Monday, November 26, 2007