(mainly or initiated by) student participants

STUDENT PARTICIPANTS (mainly or initiated by). Includes elementary school students as well as older ages of students. There are struggles, for example for regime change, that are initiated by students but grow far beyond that category. This tag enables readers still to find such cases, in which students played a key role.

African American residents of Chester, PA, demonstrate to end de facto segregation in public schools, 1963-1966

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

In November 1963, African American parents in the small city of Chester, PA organized and demanded better conditions at their local elementary school, Franklin School. They picketed the school and blocked its doors, successfully shutting it down for several days. The protesters also staged sit-ins in the City Hall, municipal building, and the Board of Education's offices. After several weeks of protest, the campaign grew to encompass desegregation efforts of 10 of Chester's public elementary and middle schools.

Pastors and students lead campaign to desegregate Danville, VA, 1963

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States gained momentum in the 1960’s with campaigns and demonstrations taking place throughout the country. Following the success of the 1963 campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, and the strong leadership of that struggle by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), ministers and other activists in Danville, Virginia, decided to start their own campaign. They formed the Danville Christian Progressive Association (DCPA).

University students campaign for racial integration in Charlotte, NC, 1960

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

During a period of five months in the spring of 1960, students and adults in Charlotte, North Carolina, participated in the sit-in movement to protest segregation. It was an attempt to end racial segregation in the public facilities in the city of Charlotte. The city government was the opposition.

St. Paul's College students boycott segregated Virginia movie theater, Lawrenceville, VA, 1960

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

St. Paul’s College is a historically African American college in Lawrenceville, a town in rural Virginia. Although Lawrenceville was a predominantly African American town, segregation laws persisted. In 1960 only 750 of the 17,000 African Americans in the town paid their poll tax and registered to vote. The town lacked a branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a black lawyer, or a black bondsman.

German university students campaign for education reform, 2009


The Bologna Process, a European agreement signed by Germany in 1999, made degree programs comparable throughout Europe. In Germany this meant that programs originally designed to last five or six years were compressed into three or four, creating a degree program quite similar to the United States’. This substantially increased the course load for students. Decreased funding for universities also meant a poorer standard of education, larger classes, and the implementation of tuition fees. Between February and December 2009, thousands of German students protested thes

Cambridge, Maryland, activists campaign for desegregation, USA, 1962-1963

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

Cambridge, a small city in Eastern Shore Maryland, was racially divided in 1960 between African Americans and European Americans. Unemployment rates for African Americans were quadruple those of white people and segregation was pervasive in public and private spaces alike.

University of Toronto students win divestment from apartheid South Africa, 1984-1990

South Africa Apartheid Divestment Movement (1970s-1980s)

Beginning in 1983, students and student allies at the University of Toronto began creating the organizational structures needed to pressure the University to divest from South Africa. Students created an Anti-Apartheid Network, or AAN, drawing membership from the Student Christian Movement, the Communist Club, the African and Caribbean Students’ Association, and the New Democratic Party Club. The group had large support among the student body from very early on, but gained no traction with the University administration.

SUNY-Albany students protest campus sweatshop products, U.S., 2000

Student Anti-Sweatshop Labor Movement (1990s - 2010s)

Since 1996, a small number of State University of New York (SUNY) students had been urging the university administration to reject contracts with companies that had unfair labor policies. However, by 1999, students had made very little progress and campus stores still sold questionable sweatshop products.

Syracuse University students protest sweatshops, USA, 2000-2001

Student Anti-Sweatshop Labor Movement (1990s - 2010s)

In 2000, students around the country protested sweatshop-manufactured college apparel. Students at Syracuse University (SU) protested using a variety of different tactics, including a naked bicycle ride through campus. In their yearlong campaign, Syracuse students wished to convince SU’s Chancellor, Kenneth A. Shaw, to join the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC). Their ultimate goal, along with students nationwide, was better wages and better working conditions for workers who manufactured college apparel.

Philadelphia Student Union protests school district privatization, 2001-2002


In 2001, the state of Pennsylvania started a process that eventually led to a full state takeover of the School District of Philadelphia. Governor Tom Ridge, followed by Governor Mark Schweiker, sought this takeover due to the dismal track record of the public schools in Philadelphia. With the takeover came the privatization of many of Philadelphia's lowest achieving schools. Edison Schools, Inc., a for-profit school management firm, eventually received a contract to run 20 schools in Philadelphia.

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