Left Luggage

The socialist strategy site

Parents occupy under-threat schools

Posted by Left Luggage on April 4, 2009

About 30 parents in Glasgow yesterday occupied two primary schools that are under the threat of closure.

The actions at Wyndford Primary and St Gregory’s Primary in Maryhillare are over plans by the local council to close both schools by merging them with other primaries. Glasgow City Council is proposing a series of cuts that would result in 13 primaries and 12 nurseries either closing or merging.

The protestors denounced a “sham” consultation process undertaken by the council and said the closure of the schools tear the heart out of the community. One of the mothers occupying St Gregory’s said: “They are the heart of our community. If they take the schools away it will just kill it. I’m a former pupil and this school means a lot to us.”

As of last night, reports from Wyndford Primary said the occupation was going well and the parents had “barricaded themselves in” for the night. A demonstration is planned outside the school for midday today (Saturday, April 4).

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3 Responses to “Parents occupy under-threat schools”

  1. history tells us things said

    Although there has been some support from the left and the ‘activist’ community for these occupations and the Visteon ones, it seems pretty limited: for example, where are the students now who supported the Gaza occupations in the colleges?, etc. I am increasingly baffled by the priorities of ‘what is left of the left’ and the A/C movement: so, its all about Israel/Palestine, The War’, anti-imperialism’ etc or for the A/C lot: ‘The Planet’, etc, ‘No Borders’ or often abstract ‘protests’ against the ‘system’ ( I simplify a bit here.) Yet today, Save the Children which usually works in only the developing world, has announced it is to give 5,000 of Britain’s poorest families emergency grants as the recession is leading to malnutrition, etc. I am certainly not advocating a withdrawal from internationalism,of course not, but a refocusing and an acknowledgement that by building support in the U.K and helping people in need here, we can strengthen the bonds that make genuine international solidarity more effective.

    This lack of awareness of the difficulties people here face was so obvious in the stillborn campaign against the first Welfare Reform Bill, which is now law, and causing misery for thousands, now the Purnell powered second WRB is zinging its way through parliament and yes no major protests have been called by the left then or now and yet they then condemn people who are crushed for voting for far right parties. People are concerned about basic things, things that affect their daily lives: housing, the NHS, the economy, jobs, welfare/benefits, and yes, immigration, surely that’s not rocket science?

    Surely it is only through hard diligent work in the community, like aiding the Visteon workers, who desperately need support, not the ‘spectactles’ we are increasingly witnessing in our capital city, STWC Marches, G20’s, etc (most of the UK doesn’t live there remember) or the vanguardist remnants who still dominate our left political culture, that we will see the left, etc taken seriously by the general populace.

    I welcome your initiative and hope it gets somewhere.

  2. history tells us things said

    I also wanted to add, that of course there are many many socialists, activists, etc, who are doing the above: working damn hard on basic issues,etc, thats great, but the philosophies, the hierarchies, etc are still wedded to the failed ideologies of the 19th C or in the case of activists, the inverse ‘spectactle’.

    • refocusing and an acknowledgement that by building support in the U.K and helping people in need here, we can strengthen the bonds that make genuine international solidarity more effective

      Yes, you’re dead right. It’s an absolutely vital point that international solidarity can only be truly effective if there is a strong Left movement within this country, which we are sorely lacking at present. The two are not mutually exclusive, but building support at home through tackling the immediate issues affecting ordinary people should be the fundamental part of our activity.

      People are concerned about basic things, things that affect their daily lives: housing, the NHS, the economy, jobs, welfare/benefits, and yes, immigration, surely that’s not rocket science?

      Absolutely. Of course, the Left largely has a decent political position on most of these issues in the abstract, but largely excludes them from its everyday political activity. I wonder if there is a certain idea of what it is to be “radical” that precludes focussing on such bread-and-butter issues? As you say, this is not a difficult point to grasp, which makes the Left’s consistent neglect of such things all the more bewildering.

      Thanks for your comments, and your encouraging words about our efforts.

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