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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 June 2009

Tower Hamlets demo

A PASSIONATE and noisy protest against cuts in education marched through East London, attracting lots of attention and support from shoppers and local residents. The biggest single group represented among the 500 marchers were ESOL students, (people learning English as a second language), and their families. ESOL is facing the biggest cuts, with half the current classes facing the axe. Homemade placards read: "Learning English means I can educate my children".

The campaign will need to be stepped up and continued over the summer if the vicious cuts at Tower Hamlets College are to be halted. As well as ESOL many other adult education courses and A-levels are under threat, and staff and students suspect that this is another attempt to close down the Bethnal Green Centre, one of the longest-serving adult education centres in London, which successfully fought to stay open this time last year.

Naomi Byron

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