Walking in Protest

Today we walk together against proposed cuts to school budgets.  It is a protest that mobilises even those of us that have not marched before.  Children, parents and school staff meet at schools across our borough of Tower Hamlets to create signs.  We march from our school to the Big Assembly in Mile End Park making noise and waving colourful banners as we walk.  Drivers beep their horns in solidarity with us.  We feel positive and energised (and very, very hot!).  So many differences between us and yet today we are united in the face of this challenge.

As we walk we meet processions from other schools.  At the meeting point, marchers from other schools continue to pour in from every direction.  It is an emotional bonding experience.  We walk and stand together.  We believe not only in the same goal but also in our ability to change things.  The speakers are animated, the banners are funny and bright, the crowd feels good.  Our children ask us questions and actively learn about democracy, protest, and the role of schools.

Schools are at the heart of our community.  They give our children a foundation, social life, support and opportunities that all make a significant difference to the lives they will lead as adults.  Cuts to school budgets cause short term damage to schools, teachers, support staff and long term damage to our children and their future.  Perhaps one person can’t make a difference.  But when we come out and walk together we stop being individuals and join a movement of thousands.  It is possible that this movement cannot be ignored and things will change.

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