Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Protest against Liquidations of Schools

On January 31 we took part in two protests against the liquidation of schools in the Praga district. The protests come after announcements that the city plans to liquidate 18 schools, including a pre-school, forcing the children to change their place of study. In one case they want to liquidate the only school in the neighbourhood, which recently was renovated and in another, the young students would be forced to go about 4 kilometers away to get to class. Classes would be consolidated, meaning more overcrowding, fewer jobs and more stress for teachers. Pupils, parents, teachers and people in the neighbourhood are opposed to the school closures. ZSP called on neighbours to support protests and the parents, teachers and pupils to take their problems to the streets and to the politicians. (Text of call, English version,)
(Continuation and photos below)

Protests were held at four schools today. Early on we went with some parents, a few pupils and activists from Solidarity, PD and the Democratic Students to a protest against the liquidation of two schools and one pre-school. The protest was a peaceful picket but we called on people to join a not so quiet action on Thursday when we would make hell at the City Council.

Later in the day, we met with students and a few teachers from a lyceum who decided they would protest and go visit the mayor. A lively demo with songs, chants and some firecrackers went through old Praga to the local goverment office. There we shouted to our old "friend" mayor Zalewski to get his ass down there and talk to the people. We went inside the local council room and sat at the council table and the mayor came to give people a dose of bullshit. First he tried to convince people that they were being "misinformed" because the school wasn't being liquidated  .... it would just be moved into another people with another school. The kids didn't buy this bullshit and one young guy really told him off. Some teachers tried to politely counterargue, but the mayor just repeated his bullshit. We said to people then that's what they should expect from politicians...their attitude is clear, so you have to be forceful, not polite. In such a situation, they can also refuse to move and occupy the school. It could be a lot more fun to turn the schools into centers of resistance and solidarity, than just plain schools used in the morning. Now we will discuss this idea of moves to keep the schools open by simply taking them over.