Socialist Worker

Glasgow schools occupy in battle against closures

by Angela McCormick
Issue No. 2146

Parents in Glasgow took direct action last week as part of the campaign to save their children’s schools  (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Parents in Glasgow took direct action last week as part of the campaign to save their children’s schools (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Parents in Glasgow stepped up their fight against school closures by occupying two primary schools on Friday of last week.

Around 20 parents barricaded themselves in the assembly and gym halls at Wyndford and St Gregory’s primary schools in Maryhill at the start of the two week Easter holiday.

The parents have sworn to stay for as long as it takes to win. “We’re in and we’re not coming out,” Nikki Rathmill, whose five year old son is a pupil at Wynford Primary, told Socialist Worker.

“We want a face to face meeting with council leader Steven Purcell. So we’re not moving’.”

Wyndford and St Gregory’s are among 25 primary schools and nurseries Glasgow council wants to close or merge.

Debbie Watson is another parent involved in the occupation. She said, “We are fighting against the closure of our schools.

“If our schools close, our community dies. It’s already in a bad state as it is, but our community will fight to the bitter end to keep our schools open.”

Support

Lots of people from the local area and from other schools campaigns across the city joined a demonstration on Saturday in support of the

occupying schools.

The campaigners are calling on other affected schools to follow their example.

The schools campaign has seen packed public meetings, lobbies and demonstrations in the city centre and in the council leader’s constituency against the Labour-controlled council’s closure plans.

More parents have joined the initial occupiers.

There has been a steady stream of donations of food from local people and supporters.

The schools are the heart of the community and, as St Gregory’s parent Allison Kelly said at the first campaign meeting, “If it was a bank instead of two primary schools at the bottom of the Wynford, they’d be throwing money at it.”

Support has been flooding in with messages from the Prisme and Visteon workers’ occupations, as well as more than 300 texts from as far afield as Italy.

Allison told Socialist Worker, “Spirits are high. The community has been generous and we are being well looked after.

“We hope that Labour councillors are listening to the parents and the community. If not, they won’t be councillors for Maryhill next year.”

Extensive media coverage of the occupation has helped to pile the pressure onto Glasgow council.

Activities

The parents have drawn up a list of activities for the next week including another demonstration and a “Find the Labour councillor egg hunt” for the children.

A city-wide demonstration has been called to lobby the Labour group executive meeting on Friday of next week.

This is set to be the largest of the campaign.

Text messages of support to Wyndford on 07894 123721 and to St Gregory’s on 07776 396152


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.