Today, October 15, 2021, parents, teachers and workers in countries around the world are once again supporting the call from UK parent Lisa Diaz for a one day school strike to fight against the deadly reopening of schools as the COVID-19 pandemic rages.
Join the global online picket line by sending your message of solidarity on Twitter using hashtag #SchoolStrike2021 and tag the World Socialist Web Site (@WSWS_Updates). We’ll collect the best statements here.
Visit the last online picket line, held on October 1, here.
WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North: “Boris Johnson is not the only barbarian. The same homicidal experiment is being conducted by capitalist governments throughout the world.”
UK parent Lisa Diaz: “COVID is being let to rip through schools in the UK, and the results are completely devastating”
SEP (US) member Helen Halyard: “Today’s school strike takes place under conditions of a growing strike wave throughout the US and globally”
SEP (US) member Zac Corrigan: “Scientists have shown that it would only take a few month to completely eradicate COVID forever”
#SchoolStrike2021 trending in UK with over 4,000 tweets
Victimised London bus worker David O'Sullivan: “This is the criminal policy not only of the Tories, they are not the only guilty party here, but also the Labour Party”
Laurent Lafrance, member of the Cross-Canada Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee: “Students and staff are being used as cannon fodder for the reopening of the economy”
Clare, a teacher in Montgomery, Alabama
Clare’s school district experienced the devastating consequences of school reopenings last year, when 8 educators died from COVID-19 within two months. In Montgomery alone, there have been 565 confirmed cases and 6,333 quarantines since August.
She commented on the October 15 school strike: “What teachers and parents are doing in the UK should be done everywhere. There is no way we can continue to be forced to put our lives on the line unnecessarily. Big business & Big Pharma...Our lives are not worth your bottom line. Not one teacher or student should die because of greed.”
“Parents, teachers, and workers need to ban together and fight for our lives. It's beyond the rich getting richer off the sweat of our backs. It is now literally our lives on the line! Stand with us! Stand for your children! Stand for yourselves!”
Turkish student: “My little cousin (14) died of Covid. How many more people should die?”
Brazilian educator Tomas Castanheira: “No more children dead or long COVID!”
Alexandra Greene: “The children in Canada are #SittingDucks thanks to reopening policies”
SEP Assistant National Secretary Tom Scripps supports school strike
New Zealand early childhood teacher Rachel Raue sends message of support for the strike
Morgan, 26, a university graduate and member of the IYSSE in Melbourne: “Here in Australia, there’s been a very sharp reversal in the COVID response by federal and state governments”
Parents posted photos of their children’s school uniforms to show their support for the strike
Retired teacher Margot Miller: Children are treated as “accceptable casualties”
German bus driver Andy Niklaus supports global school strike
Vicky Short: My 12-year-old grandson tested positive for COVID today
UK father John Kendall “Keep the schools closed: End Covid first!”
Lisa Diaz’s father Peter Bentley
Ben Hughes: “All #schools must be closed except to key workers' children”
French parent Raphaelle Lapotre: “I refuse to expose her to a deadly virus with unknown long term consequences on her health”
Parent and National Health Service mental health worker Lucy Garrard: “This situation is torture for parents—we worry day and night—it cannot go on”
“We need to let the government know that we won’t accept children being #SittingDucks”
Sri Lankan school worker Nandana Herath: 'We appreciate the initiative of the UK parents against this global murderous policy'
UK parent Sally: “I was threatened with fines, ankle tags, and prison for remotely educating my children”
California nurse Elizabeth: “Hundreds of thousands of children have been infected because of the opening of schools”
Greetings from the Committee for Public Education in Australia
Tom Peters from the Socialist Equality Group in New Zealand speaks in support of today's UK school strike
Joshua, a student in Nuremberg: “I experience the murderous policy of mass infection first hand every day”
“I support today’s strike because, as a student, I experience the murderous policy of mass infection first-hand every day. There is, de facto, not a single meaningful measure to protect children and young people from infection in schools. There is no compulsory use of masks in the classroom, air filters are only available to a small extent, and there are no effective concepts for avoiding confluences of large crowds, such as during breaks. On the agenda of the ruling class is the uncontrolled sweep of an entire population that is largely unprotected: for the sake of profit. Not one of the established parties have any interest in doing anything about it. Therefore, I welcome the move by parents in Britain to take their own initiative and urge everyone to follow suit, because you can’t rely on the ruling class and its agents!”
Martin, a kindergarten teacher in Germany
The second international school strike is another important step in the fight against the policy of mass infection particularly at schools and day care centers.
As already feared two weeks ago, the infections are progressing rapidly. Here in Saxony, where I live, the 7-days incidence rate has risen since by 50 per cent and stands now at 92. The government continues its policies and wants to end mandatory masking in high schools on October 25.
This completely irresponsible and criminal policy is being pursued by all established parties, including the nominally left ones. In Thuringia, where the supposedly most left-wing state government in Germany rules, the incidence rate in the Unstrut-Hainich district among children and adolescents aged 5 to 14 is 1,204. The only reaction to this by the head of government from the Left Party was to request a “special report” from its scientific advisory board. Its chairwoman stated that particularly vulnerable groups must be protected, and that “children are not one of them.”
While those in power trample on any scientific recommendations, we educators, in alliance with parents and students, must rely on them. I am therefore very much looking forward to the international webinar on October 24 with Lisa Diaz and David North and a host of principled scientists such as Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding and Malgorzata Gasperowicz. We workers need science, but science also needs the working class to stop the pandemic!
German Year 12 student Tamino from Baden-Württemberg
“Contrary to the general claims of governments, the pandemic is not over. Not only in Great Britain, but also here in Germany, the infection figures are at a very high level - especially among schoolchildren. At the same time, all protective measures are gradually being dismantled. Since October 1, free Corona tests have been abolished, as well as compulsory masks in class in almost all German states. That is why an independent strike movement of the working class and youth is especially important.”
A message of support from a high school student in Poland
Piotr, a high school student in Gdańsk, Poland, sent this meassage: “I support the school strike because I fear for my parents' health. They are both over 50 years old. In Polish schools there are practically no hygiene rules—we are not tested, hardly anyone wears a mask in the hallway, and no one wears one in the classrooms... The Polish government does not seem to be doing anything to protect students—the Minister of Education himself, Przemyslaw Czarnek, admitted that schools will not be closed until there are no more hospital places. Unfortunately, by then it will be too late for many people...”