save EMA!

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Neighbourhoods: beckfoot_school

At our school, Beckfoot in Bingley we decided more needed to be done about the cuts so we organised a silent protest in aim of Saving EMA. We got hundreds of students turning up and even some teachers showing their support.

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Me and a few friends have been very involved with direct action against the cuts; we've taken part in walkouts, local demonstrations, the Leeds occupation and national demonstrations in London. Whilst spending a night at the Leeds Uni occupation we went to a meeting of other school and 6th form students to talk about what we had all been doing in our schools and we came to see that everyone else had done a lot more than us! From this we decided to set up a group in our school which would be responsible for organising more things in our school and trying to spread the word of action against the cuts to more people throughout our school. 

We have had a few meetings since then to discuss things and although they have mainly been students present we also managed to get some teachers there including a teacher union rep and our head of 6th form. After our first meeting we all got busy with making and distributing leaflets for a protest we started to organise. We thought we'd have a protest as part of Save EMA Day as this meant there would be national protests all throughout England for the same cause which would mean we weren't on our own doing this so people would think they made more of a difference. 

We organised a silent protest for this day as this showed the point that we weren't being listened to and we won't be happy until we are being heard; at the moment we're just being treated like primary school children. We mass leafleted the school, went round classes to tell them more about it and sent out e-mails to all teachers trying to get people to come. We held a banner making session which quite a few people turned up to and came out with some very witty slogans. The protest itself was held at a break time and was basically 20 minutes of silence which was very effective. We put masking tape over peoples mouths to create a powerful image. We estimated about 250 people present about 10 of which were teachers. We were very happy with this outcome and it has encouraged us to organise more protests in the future.