Teachers in the German city of Bremen are planning to use the rich tradition of carnival in the country to draw attention to their campaign against cuts and austerity. The carnival season which culminates in Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) has always been celebrated in Germany, as it is in many parts of the world, with days of celebration, dressing up, drinking, processions and fun. 

The teachers in Bremen have decided to use the opportunity by organising an 'Assault on the Town Hall', where they storm the building, take the keys and cut as many neckties as they can. At the same time they will be giving out leaflets drawing attention to the terrible state of funding in the state and advertising Monday's Stunksitzung (Trouble Meeting), where there will be cabaret and live music. The Stunksitzung idea was started by students in the 80's who objected to the way in which elites were able to join in the fun of carnival, whose origins lie in rebellious and anarchic celebrations by the people, often against those in positions of power.

Then on Ash Wednesday, representatives from every school will read out letters about the state of education funding in their schools. The teachers are demanding an end to cuts and privatisation, properly financed education for children with learning difficulties and for children from first generation refugee and immigrant backgrounds.

Meanwhile the union nationally is in negotiations over the long-standing dispute about teachers pay and the discrimination against teachers who are not on a civil service (or Beamte) contract. If the negotiaions are unsuccessful, more are likely.