Straight from the People's Republic of Mancunia
My absence from the blogosphere has not been mirrored in the real worl where I've actually been quite busy, mixing-up the usual uni social scene by solidarising with an Israeli refusenik (in the time-honoured fashion whereby we and others went and got pissed in a park), demonstrating in Mancunia and conferencing about the war (which included the opportunity to meet the surprisingly funny Craig Murray). I even have photographic evidence of some of it. I'm just not able to put it online yet. You'll just have to wait. Possibly a little while.
It was in the course of my sojourn to Manchester that the subject of this post was suggested to me. In fact I was personally asked by a certain somebody to post on the matter, something which I don't think has ever happened before. That being the case, I could hardly say no. My ego simply wouldn't allow it. In any case, the issue relates to my last post and is likely to be of interest to you, my beloved readership.
Blair decided to force himself (with the delightful Alan Johnson in tow) upon Quintin Kynaston School in North London on September 7. He intended to use the visit to announce plans for "trust schools" - to be run by charities, religious organisations and businesses - of which QK is to be one of the first two in London. Apparently, the head was delighted, but many of the pupils and some of the teachers were less than thrilled and organised a demonstration with support from local branches of Unison and the NUT along with School Students Against the War.
Predictably, the school management didn't see this as an encouraging expression of independent thought and political engagement on the part of their pupils, but instead sought to repress the protest. Subsequently, the apparent initiator of the demonstration, Robin Sivapalan, who is a classroom assistant at the school, was suspended for "insubordination" and "breaching confidentiality" by informing people of Blair's visit. Supporters are organising a statement demanding that Sivapalan be reinstated and the charges against him dropped. This hardly strikes me as an unreasonable demand and the likes of Caroline Lucas (Green MEP), Jeremy Corbyn (old-fashion labour lefty) and Bob Crow (that bald guy from the RMT) suggests I'm not alone in that assesment. If you want to add your support you can do so by adding your name and/or spreading the word in the usual fashion.