BRITAIN: Sheffield students join March 5 strike



SHEFFIELD — Up to 1000 students took part in the international March 5 student strike against war here. Around 150 came from King Edward school and at least 10 other schools in the city participated.

There was a lively march around the city centre, with loads of chanting and singing. Some head teachers and the education department tried to stop the walkouts. One head teacher sent letters to parents complaining that students had been given socialist leaflets.

Gavin Martin from Storrs School said: "There was a lot of interest about walkouts in many schools across Sheffield including my own, which sent out a letter forbidding anyone to go to the march in town. Despite this, around 50 people from my school joined others to march through the streets of Sheffield in the rain. We went to schools, colleges and the university to get them to join us. We saw some students being held back by teachers.

"As we marched, we received a great deal of support from the public and many people honked their car horns or showed other signs of approval. At the peak of the march, there were probably up to 1000 protesters, maybe even more, despite schools' condemnation of the walkout. Many more people would have come otherwise... I am sure there will be a massive turnout for any similar protest on 'Day X' [the day the US attack starts]."

[Dave Milsom is an activist with the Sheffield Socialist Party.]

From Green Left Weekly, March 12, 2003.

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