The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Belfast Schools Against War

Davy Carlin • March 20, 2003

'I have never seen such radicalisation by school students - not even in the sixties and seventies'. So stated one Belfast onlooker.

As some schoolstudents gathered outside Belfast City Hall a huge cheer went up as over 300 schoolstudents led by a huge banner of Schools Against War (SAW) came into sight as they marched up the road - they had come from schools from all over the Lisburn Road area. They then joined others from their campaign group who had travelled from all over North and East Belfast. The call went up from SAW to get on the road and sit down. The road (all three intersections at the city hall) was then completely blocked and everything came to a standstill as a die in commenced after a one minutes silence was held for the Iraqi civilians who will be butchered in the coming times. Thirty minutes later another massive cheer went up as Schools Against the War (SAW) arrived from West Belfast.

They came with banners from St Dominics, St Louises, De La Salle, St Genieves, Irish Schools and many more all under the Banner of Schools Against War. The school students then took to the mike with dozens of students from many schools speaking, still blocking all traffic. Then yet another massive cheer again went up as more SAW came into sight - they had marched from the Ormeau Road. They then joined their colleagues on the sit down. Over one hour later the call went up from schoolstudents 'lets march upon the US consul in Belfast'. And with that a twelve year old SAW activist chanting on the mike led hundreds upon hundreds of fellow campaigners through the streets of Belfast to the US consul.

As the arrived they were met with scores of police in body armour, dogs, and fences, but the school students undeterred moved forward and jumped over and started to remove the fencing. Twelve year olds, thirteen year olds, fourteen year old students etc - young men and women loud and voicing their anger in their hundreds surged forward against the consul as the police moved against them. The school students although able to remove the fencing were unable to get into the counsul so they continued to block of the road with their sit down. Finally all those present were thanked for joining the schools against war protests and walkouts and were urged to come out again tomorrow to support Friday's rally with trade unionists and also for Saturdays rally where a SAW member will be speaking representing all of the schoolstudents around the North.They were also told of Saturday's feeder marches organised by the Belfast Anti-War Movement - one from the bottom of the Whiterock/Falls Road and one from Ormeau Park on the Ormeau Rd, both at 1pm. Then the students all stood up, turned around, linked arms and marched as one past the police land drovers making sure everyone came through - then went back to their schools to organise for tommorrow.

Who said the school students are apathetic? Who said international politics meant nothing here? Who said that the spirt of Genoa could not be brought to the streets of Belfast? It has been done once again - and that is only the tip of the iceberg.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
- Thomas J. Watson

Index: Current Articles

21 March 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


War In Our Time But Not In Our Name
Anthony McIntyre


Belfast Schools Against War
Davy Carlin


Not Your Father's Socialism

Kevin Donegan


Disturbing Secrets
Liam O Ruairc


17 March 2003

Death of an IRA Volunteer
Anthony McIntyre


Sinn Fein @ The Bush Party
John Meehan


Not In Our Name, Bertie and Gerry

Brendan Young


Republicans' Big Risk
Paul Fitzsimmons


The Good Friday Agreement? What About the St. Patrick's Day War?
Eamonn McCann


St. Patrick's Day Message
Jimmy Sands

Only Another Eleven Palestinians
Margaret Quinn




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