July 10th-Trafalgar Square-Public Sector Protest

So it was off to central London today to take part in a march and rally ostensibly about pay and pensions;  my good old  placard (https://jennycollinsteacher.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/homemade-nut-strike-placard/) was spotted by three different news organisations who all interviewed me. The placard stood out because it was homemade and also because it didn’t just say ‘Gove Out’ but instead made some attempt to draw attention to the reasons behind the current attacks on teachers and schools (marketisation). Here are the three websites that carried out the interviews.

1. http://www.presstv.com/

2. http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php

3. http://www.leftcom.org/en

At one point a fellow protesting teacher reacted to the line on the placard that reads ‘Marketise, Monetise: Tory, Labour: All the Same’ by asking ‘What alternative do we have?’ I suggested a cabinet that was not made up of millionaires – i.e. genuinely representative – as one example of a preferable alternative. Later on I was approached by an Argentinian couple, one of whom was a teacher, who looked at the placard and told me “We are having just the same problems in Argentina, only worse”.

I was also approached by somebody who wanted to know who Joel Klein was, a name written on my placard. It interested me that this person, the only person to ask me about the names on the placard, retired from teaching ten years ago having taught for forty years. I don’t think teachers of this generation are asking the right questions; they seem pretty naive. I don’t see the NUT as a tough union and I’m not convinced teachers in this country are up for a fight. As far as I can see this is down to a lack of knowledge about their own circumstances combined with both a sceptical attitude towards any sort of political posturing and a lame ‘I’d rather be shopping’ type apathy.

It was good to see the Firefighters out in strength on the same march. They had a good sense of solidarity to them with matching Fire Brigades Union T-shirts, partners and children in tow and even playing some music (‘Get Up, Stand Up’ by Bob Marley, not the most original of choices perhaps but appropriate enough and a welcome, cheerful sound).

I also met one of the people behind this intriguing blog: http://www.theunlessonmanifesto.blogspot.com It is similar to this blog for a number of reasons . It’s the first blog I’ve found that is.




4 comments on “July 10th-Trafalgar Square-Public Sector Protest

  1. It was good to make your passing acquaintance today. This is a great looking blog that I am looking forward to reading in detail over the next few weeks. I have added this link to The Unlesson Manifesto.

  2. Hi

    My friend and I spoke with you on Thursday at the strike demo in Trafalgar Square. We were standing on the steps in front of the National Gallery.
    I have just had a look at your blog which is very interesting and expresses many of my feelings about the state of our public education system.
    I started a visual blog about three and a half years ago, with a series of very angry drawings in response to my previous teaching post and state education in general. Unfortunately I didn’t maintain it for very long. I don’t do social networking and I think that is probably essential to working a blog??
    I could send you some of my images if you are interested?

    Best wishes,

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