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School students walk out against war and poverty

Issue No. 1960

Protesting in Wellington, Somerset, last week

Protesting in Wellington, Somerset, last week


Around 200 school students from across London walked out of their schools in protest at the G8 meeting.

The walkout was called by the School Students Against the War (SSAW) group which helped organise mass walkouts on the day that the war began in Iraq.

A student from a school in south London said, “The school said that we couldn’t walk out. But it is really important to say that we make a stand.

“George Bush and Tony Blair think that they can say a few good words about helping people in Africa and that we’ll forget the 100,000 killed in Iraq.

“They should cancel the debt and they should increase aid—but in reality they’ll do very little.” In north London students from Hornsey School for Girls walked out. One said, “Around 50 students were planning to walk out, but the teachers came down very heavy handed. The police came and took our names and addresses, but what could they do?”

The protesters congregated outside parliament before holding a sit-down protest in front of Downing Street.

Alys, one of the organisers of SSAW said, “We are protesting in London in solidarity with the protesters in Gleneagles and with the people of Iraq and Africa whose lives are being destroyed by the leaders of the G8.”

Somerset

Hero Austin, 14, was one of those who, with five of her friends, organised a protest at Court Fields Community School in Wellington, Somerset, on Wednesday of last week. Some of the students had been on the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh on Saturday 2 July.

Hero said, “Because we were protesting about students in Africa who don’t have the chance to get an education we didn’t want to simply walk out. We also wanted to commemorate the Iraq dead.

“I spoke along with another student. We have to turn the sorrow into anger. We were given five minutes to protest by one of our teachers, although it lasted longer.

“Our protest came after a school assembly on the G8 summit. The things we organised have motivated people. We hope to run more assemblies in the future.”


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Features
Sat 16 Jul 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1960
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