On Friday, marking the latest global school strike, parent Lisa Diaz posted a video on Twitter calling on parents to keep their children off for the day, wherever possible. The school strikes, first called by Lisa, are held every Friday.
Lisa, a member of the SafeEdForAll (Safe Education for All) campaigning group, has led the protest against the unsafe opening of schools, with no mitigations, in the middle of a pandemic, which has taken over 165,000 lives in Britain. This grisly death toll now includes the deaths of 108 children. During the day, school strike participants spread the hashtags #SchoolStrike2021, #SittingDucks, and in remembrance of the children killed by COVID, #UK108.
A parent of two children from Wigan in the north-west of England, Lisa said in the video, “I support school strike 2021 because whilst the government carry on pretending that COVID is of low risk to children, that it's a benign illness, that it's ok for them to be used as vectors of transmission.
“In reality children are dying of COVID. So, four child deaths were recorded yesterday, in one day alone. Four children recorded as dead. Did we hear about it on the news? No, we didn't. What about the 108 children who have died across the course of the pandemic of COVID? Nothing! Nothing is being said at all about children dying and I don't understand that.
“And of course, it’s not just death. It is Long COVID. We've got thousands and thousands of children living with Long COVID now across the UK, across the world in fact. I know children personally who have been poorly for over a year and we’re talking serious illnesses where they’re being referred to cardiologists. Another boy I know, has got breathing difficulties. We don't know if they're going to get better.
“And yet nothing is being done to keep our children safe in school. There is no mitigations in place. And I don't think it's controversial, I don't think it is remotely controversial for me to say I do not want my child exposed to a novel virus which could kill them, which could kill me, which they could spread and could kill somebody in the community.
“None of this is ok. This is not normal. So, if it's not a cause for action, then I really don't know what is. So that is why my children will be off school today because I did not consent to them being used as collateral damage in a herd immunity experiment.”
Comments posted on social media during the day gave expression to the horrific situation that exists in the UK and globally.
Anderson, a twitter user from Brazil wrote, “It's the same here. Yesterday one more child died from Covid in Brazil. They didn't talk nothing about it on TV. We only want to protect our children. Why don't they let us do it? #SchoolStrike2021 #SittingDucks”
Since the last global school strike on October 22, at least another 520,000 people in Britain have been infected with COVID, including many children and adolescents. Over 9.2 million have been infected since the start of the pandemic in the UK. Even according to the government’s manipulated tally of deaths, recording only those who have perished within 28 days of a positive test, 2,083 have died just in the 14 days since the last school strike. In the last seven days, almost 1,200 people (1,197) have died of COVID, an increase of 131 deaths (12.3 percent) on the previous week.
On the evening before the strike SafeEdForAll member “Tall Paul” posted, “The myth children are not affected by Covid 19 needs to be overturned. Recently a disturbing trend has seen #UK108 children sadly lost to Covid 21 since Sept. Today ONS [Office for National Statistics] recorded 69,000 children are suffering Long Covid. Enough is Enough. No More #SittingDucks #SchoolStrike2021”
Parent Chaela provided chilling statistics on the terrible impact of the mass infection of schoolchildren and the hospitalisation of many, noting, “Data can be found on NHS & ONS 53,000 KIDS have long covid, 11,000 for 1yr plus, 100 kids DEAD 0-19. (25 first year, now more than TRIPLED with Delta & we not in depths of winter yet) 1,000 a month hospitalised, 40 daily—one every 36 mins. #MakeSchoolsSafe”
Claire Donnelly, an infectious diseases consultant, living in Belfast, Northern Ireland, tweeted November 4, “NI covid dashboard shows 108% bed occupancy and 41% of ICU beds occupied by patients with covid. This needs immediate action to avert a catastrophic collapse due to an increase in cases from waning immunity, school return and increased mixing leading up to Christmas.”
Lisa Diaz’s father, Peter Bentley, posted a message alongside a slogan “Covid has no place in schools”, stating, “Worldwide School Strike: I support my daughter and my two grandchildren who are on strike today, having not attended school since the pandemic started in March 2020. Schools will only be safe when Covid-free! Follow the science. Ignore the propaganda!”
Lucy Garrard, a National Health Service worker and regular participant in the school strikes tweeted, “#SchoolStrike2021 #SittingDucks#. This time, rather than posting a video of how angry I am at the @educationgovuk for their lack of school safety mitigations, I feel that @AugustaLees sums up very clearly how I feel in her song. Please watch and RT. @Sandyboots2020 @SafeEdForAll_UK”
Augusta, a pianist, singer, and teacher filmed a short song about the mass infection of the population in the UK, including in schools, and the callous indifference of the government—set to the music of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”. The video has been viewed over 12,000 times.
The school strikes are giving voice to many parents internationally who feel they have no choice, out of for fear of prosecution, losing their jobs, or other reasons, but to send their children to school.
Twitter user, Stephen Emmet Clarke, posted, “My children will attend school tomorrow but every day it's a very hard decision. I support all your efforts Lisa. I hope hmg [Her Majesty’s Government] will listen and will enact at least basic safety measures to schools. Thoughts with families of the 108 and I feel sick knowing that number will only rise.”
In the face of mass infections, hospitalisations and deaths, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, like ruling elites in every country, refuse to implement even a “Plan B” consisting of basic measures to combat the virus, such as mask mandates.
The opposition Labour Party, and only then after months of hesitation, calls on Johnson to implement his own pathetic Plan B mitigation measures, while insisting schools remain open, so that parents can go to work in factories and offices. This policy is fervently supported by the trade unions in Britain and across the world.
Growing numbers of parents are reporting that local authorities are being increasingly aggressive in persecuting parents who refuse to send their children into unsafe classrooms.
Ally VH #MasksInSchools posted on twitter, “At growing threat of prosecution, my sons haven’t attended school since Mar-20 and will not attend until classrooms are made safe and this failing herd immunity experiment ends. I do not consent to the mass infection and harm of our children. #SchoolStrike2021 #SafeEdForAll”
This persecution is being stepped up by Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat-run councils alike. The evening before the school strike, Lisa tweeted of threats issued by Labour-run Liverpool council:
“A mum who is keeping her kids learning safely from home has been told by @lpoolcouncil that they will skip the fines and go straight for an ‘aggravated offence.’ Have you ever heard such BS in your life?”
Lisa posted an image of a threatening letter sent to a parent by Liberal Democrat-run Torbay council, with the comment, “Welcome to the U.K. A place where responsible parents are issued penalty notices for keeping their children safely learning from home in a Pandemic. Well done @Torbay_Council - you must feel really proud.”
She pointed out that the council is carrying out its threat, even though it is located in the southwest of England—the area currently hit hardest by the pandemic.
Commenting on Friday’s school strike, WSWS writer Evan Blake, a member of the Socialist Equality Party (US), called on participants to view the online October 24 webinar hosted by the WSWS and the International Workers Alliance of Rank and File Committees (IWA-RFC). This event brought together a panel of leading scientists, epidemiologists and doctors to explain the case for the global elimination of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Blake said, “#SchoolStrike2021 is critical in opposing the homicidal #COVID19 policies, as all measures to stop the virus are being lifted globally. Ending the pandemic requires a mass movement of the working class grounded in science. Watch and share these reports!”
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