Derry Schools Will Walk Out for Peace

Derry Journal Feb. 28th 2003

STUDENTS FROM some of Derry's largest schools are set to walk out their classrooms on Wednesday of next week as part of an international day of protest against the war with Iraq.

Already pupils from St. Columb's College, St. Joseph's Boys, Foyle and Londonderry College, Lumen Christi and Thornhill College have pledged their support for the Youth Against the War day of action. Pupils from several of the schools gathered at a special meeting at The Junction on Wednesday to discuss their fears about the impending military action in Iraq and plan a way to voice their objections.

They agreed that walking out, be it for an hour, or during their lunch break, would help get the message across that the young people of Derry do not want to go to war. Spokesman David Semple from the Youth Against the War campaign explained: "When Youth Against the War raised in our schools the issue of war, we discovered that there is overwhelming opposition to the war on Iraq. Everybody knows it is a war for oil.

"Our education system, health and other public services are crying out for funding, and Blair is more interested in spending billions on a war for oil. Youth Against the War are now calling on all students to join with us on Wednesday, March 5th when we will be organising walk-outs from schools and colleges.

"Youth Against the War is active in more than 40 schools across Northern Ireland and in six schools in the Derry area. We are a broad anti-war movement, and were initiated by Socialist Youth, for young people to get active and build up their own campaign as part of the overall anti-war movement."

David added: "On Wednesday, March 5, thousands of students will go on strike and organised walk-outs from their schools and colleges throughout the world. A similar event has already been held in Germany, where more than 20,000 students protested. We are organising the action in schools throughout Northern Ireland and we hope that as many students as possible will come on board, he said.

If you wish to get involved with Wednesday's protest, or would like more information about Youth Against the War, contact David on 028 - 90232962 or email

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