Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/292/14007
School And College protest reports: School's Out!
International Socialist Resistance / Socialist Party Member Wins Teachers Backing For Anti-War Walkout
I go to Haggerston Girls School and previously we were having problems with being able to exercise our right to strike.
However, this time we went about things differently. We organised many leafletings outside the school and a ballot on students' views of the war.
We also gave the NUT teachers' union rep in the school a letter asking for support and told her about the decision of the INTO teachers' union in Northern Ireland, to not stop school students from walking out.
The teachers discussed our letter and not only decided to support our strike on Day X, but decided to join it! In a letter to parents, they write: "When we hear that war has started, we cannot simply continue as if this is just another day. We have decided that on the day the war is declared, we will walk out of school in the afternoon and join the protests".
They also said they will help pupils to get out of school for the strike and will protest if any action is taken against us by the school afterwards.
Bush The Bomber - We Can Stop Him
THE 2,000 people on Newcastle's colourful Stop the War demo created a huge buzz as they went through the city centre. Many young people had never been on a march in their life, by the end of the demo they knew all the chants and were eager to have a go on the megaphone.
Annie Pedwick, aged 17 commented 'The demo was really good. Everyone was chanting and whistling'. 13 year old Ashleigh Simpson said: 'I really enjoyed the chants especially - Bush the bomber, can we stop him. Bush the bomber, yes we can'
School student Freya Bennet said "This is the first demo I've been on. I hope we get the message across, but I'm not sure we will." Her friend James Hunt commented that Bush and Blair had not thought this war through, and Fiona Drummond added that if they do go to war it will mean loads of innocent people will be killed.
Finally, Daniel Simpson, aged 15, who was on his fourth demo, came along because he is strongly opposed to war. He then added that "Saddam is a tyrant, hopefully the Iraqi people will get rid of him."
Carlisle Students Rehearse For Day X
DAY X came early in Carlisle as over one hundred students from the Cumbria Institute of the Arts marched out at midday a few hours after George Bush's declaration of war.
The demonstration organised by a network of students, members of the Carlisle Stop the War Coalition and the Socialist Party marched down into the town centre.
Despite police attempts to drive the demo off the road and onto the pavement, the students maintained their democratic right to express their opposition to war on the streets of Carlisle.
With loud cries of "No War for Oil" and carrying Socialist Party placards, the demo marched to Labour party headquarters and demanded that local MP Eric Martlew make clear his opposition to the war.
The students then marched to the university campus where preparations are being made to march at noon on Day X, a meeting at 5pm at Hardwick Circus and then a demo organised by the coalition on Saturday, starting at 11am from the civic centre.
South West Marches Against War
ON A glorious spring day 3,500 people assembled in Exeter on 15 March for the South West March Against the War. People from all corners of Devon, Somerset and Cornwall gathered in the largest protest seen in Exeter since the 1970s.
Many young people including students and schools students were on the march, making it a boisterous, noisy protest. As the march snaked along the High Street, onlookers shouted their support, traffic beeped and people joined in the march, swelling the numbers.
At the end of the march, appeals were made for walk-outs and strike action against the war.
Socialist Party members from Devon, Somerset and Cornwall sold 60 copies of The Socialist on the day. We met many new young people interested in joining the Socialist Party.
The anti-war movement is going from strength to strength in the area, with new groups springing up, and more and more school students and students taking up the call for walkouts on 'Day X'.
AROUND 200 students walked out of lectures at Cardiff University on 10 March in an action organised by Socialist Students and rallied against the war outside the students' union.
They organised a spontaneous demo around Cardiff city centre to the Welsh Office where they chanted 'Tony, Tony, Tony - out, out, out' and marched back to the students union where they blocked the road for ten minutes. All along the route shoppers applauded and drivers tooted their support.
Alex Gounelas, President of Cardiff Socialist Students, said "We organised this walk-out as part of the preparation for 'Day X' when the war starts and it has been a fantastic success. We went around lectures explaining what was happening and put posters up everywhere.
"We think when Bush starts the war we can get hundreds more to walk out. We are getting leaflets ready for the lectures on the morning of the war and 250 posters are going up."
OVER 100 school students from Clapton girls school in Hackney, London, organised a lively strike against the war on Monday 17 March.
Natalie, 16 said: "We organised this strike because we felt like we needed our voice heard and to do something before the war starts. They're going for this war even without UN backing and we wanted to protest before we all end up dead!
"The strike has gone really well, apart from some teachers telling us to go back into school. We are going to build this by going to as many schools as possible to get them to protest - Blair isn't listening and we have to make him!"
STUDENTS AT Lincoln University anti-war group, along with several sympathetic lecturers, boycotted all lectures and seminars on 7 March.
R Redford, Lincoln
We forced a virtual shut down of the entire campus in support of the ISR day of action advertised in your paper.
Many had bought The Socialist at the massive 15 February anti-war demo in London and echoed your sentiments. We have now set up an Anti-war Society backed reluctantly by the National Union of Students, with local student Will Turner as the organiser.
THERE WAS a strike in Bristol on Thursday 13 March in the town centre which got into the local paper (The Evening Post) and they reported a turn out of 250 students mainly from Cotham but also from City of Bristol.
The headmaster of Cotham threatened suspension for some kids which I think is appalling. It is likely that we will organise a day X protest.
In The Socialist 21 March 2003: