School students to oppose occupation

5 MARCH will see the first anniversary of the school students walk-outs organised by Youth Against the War throughout the North. The day of action saw school student strikes across the world.

At the time, politicians, newspaper editors, school authorities, Minister for Education, Martin McGuinness and other figures who all claimed to tackle "youth apathy", publicly came out against the walk-outs.

Many schools tried to lock students inside, locked school gates and physically prevented students from protesting. Youth Against the War was able to win public backing from trade unions such as the Fire Brigades Union for the right to protest and against school management locking students up. The Irish National Teachers Organisation wrote to all its members instructing teachers not to prevent any students from walking out and exercising their right to protest.

One year on, the estimated 15,000 school students who faced intimidation and disciplinary threats from school authorities, can be proud of the principled stand they took against a completely unjust war.

On 20 March Youth Against the War will be on the streets again as part of an international day of action against the occupation of Iraq. Gerald Blee a member of Youth Against the War and Socialist Youth in Derry told Socialist Voice: "Politicians think that young people don't care about political issues, just because we don't go and vote for them. But Youth Against the War proved that young people here and across the world are willing to fight against injustice. The occupation is causing more and more misery for the people of Iraq. On 20 March we want all young people to join with us to show our opposition to the occupation of Iraq."

For details contact Gary on 07743282321

More articles on Youth against the War are available here while other anti-war material is here.

This article is from the Feb. 2004 edition of Socialist Voice.

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