Several schools threatened with closure have had a bit of a wake-up call in recent weeks. Four schools – two in Glasgow and two in London – have been occupied by parents and campaigners against unnecessary cost-cutting measures meaning the closure or merging of perfectly good local schools. This wave of occupations can be seen as part of a rising wave of discontent, as bosses, bankers and bureaucrats try to punish the working class for their own mistakes.
IWW members have actively supported these struggles, and the industrial secretary of the IWW Education Workers Industrial Union sent the following message:
To the occupiers of the Lewisham Bridge, Charlotte Turner, Wyndford and St Gregory’s Schools,
On behalf of the Education Workers’ Industrial Union, part of the IWW union, I offer you all our solidarity and support for your fight against the school closures and cuts you are facing. Your fight to save your children’s schools and quality of education is the same as our fight to protect jobs and the quality of working life for education workers.
Our union’s motto – education, organisation, emancipation – is one that we take very seriously. High quality, challenging, and well-resourced education for all is a fundamental element of any just society, and your efforts to fight for such education in your communities can only be applauded. It’s only through ordinary people collectively taking control of their lives that we will see much change in the world, and for that reason the wave of occupations in schools, and factories, around the UK is deeply inspiring to us.
I understand that a number of our members have already been involved in supporting your struggles in one way or another, and I will ensure that our branches near you encourage their members to get involved in any way they can. In the meantime, if there is anything we can do as a union to support you, please do not hesitate to let me know. We are a relatively small union, run exclusively by volunteers, but we would like to offer you whatever support we can give, in securing a swift and total victory.
In support, and with best wishes on behalf of all of EWIU-IWW.
We are facing the worst recession since the 1930s, a failing and increasingly right-wing Labour Party and the almost inevitability of a long, dark reign of Conservative rule in the near future. Now, more than ever, these struggles against the onslaught of capital need to be supported and nurtured. EWIU encourages everyone to find a way to support these occupations, and build grassroots power in their communities and workplaces.