Socialist Worker

Glasgow’s fight for education spreads

by Angela McCormick and Jimmy Ross
Issue No. 2148

Parents occupied two schools in Glasgow for two weeks in protest at plans to close them  (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Parents occupied two schools in Glasgow for two weeks in protest at plans to close them  (Pic: Duncan Brown)

The campaign to defend Glasgow schools escalated this week when parents from Our Lady of the Assumption (OLA) in Ruchill along with parents from the Wyndford school staged a rooftop protest on their school on Monday.

They went up at 1am in protest at the decision by Labour’s Glasgow city council to continue with the school closures.

Glasgow council executive committee decided on Thursday of last week to go ahead with plans to close 22 of the 25 schools and nurseries originally threatened with closure.

Janette Kidson, a parent with two children and two nephews at OLA, said, “We’re not in this to save just one school. We’re in this to save all the schools and we’re not coming down till we get our decision.

“Our advice to other parents is: fight the fight and get Labour out. We’ll be back on the roof during the next election making sure Ruchill doesn’t vote Labour.”

Later the same day parents from Victoria primary on the southside of Glasgow occupied their school and ten parents and pupils chained themselves to the railings outside in support.

One of them told Socialist Worker, “Our message to Labour is ‘Wake up and smell the roses. Parents are fighting for their children’s education. Labour will be hounded out at the next election.’”

Parents who had been occupying St Gregory’s and Wyndford primary schools in Glasgow ended their 15-day occupations last Saturday.

They had always said that they would end their occupations by 20 April, when the new term began.

The council had threatened to bus all the children from the two schools to different schools if the occupation continued.

The parents came out with banners and whistles to be greeted by a crowd of over 150 supporters and TV cameras.

“This past week we have been badgered and bullied by the city council relentlessly and unnecessarily,” they said in a statement.

“Council leader Steven Purcell, you need to know that you’ve made a mistake by not listening. Now the battle is just beginning.”

The previous Friday had seen a demonstration and rally by the Save Our Schools campaign outside a meeting of councillors at Glasgow City Chambers.

There are lobbies of councillors’ surgeries and car cavalcades planned for this week as well as another protest on Thursday, when the full council is meeting to make its final decision on the future of the schools.

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Article information

Tue 21 Apr 2009, 18:29 BST
Issue No. 2148
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