From the Walkout Against George Bush organizers in Australia:
For immediate release
Students: Della Bosca’s memo will only get more to protest
Students organising the Walkout Against George Bush on September 5 are outraged at N[ew] S[outh] W[ales] Education Minister John Della Bosca’s memo to school principals instructing them to take disciplinary action against students who protest Bush’s arrival [in Australia].
“It is hypocritical that the NSW government has called a public holiday for APEC, at the same time as criticising us for orgainsing the walkout. All students want to do is peacefully express their opposition to Bush by using their democratic right to protest. I ask John Della Bosca, what is so ‘wrong’ or ‘dangerous’ about that?” Amber Pike, student strike organiser, said.
“Young people will not be silenced – the NSW Government’s attempt to intimidate students will backfire. It will only get more students to walkout. Protesting to end the war on Iraq and for sustainable solutions to climate change is the only way to guarantee that there is a future.
The Education Department should be supporting students to make this statement.” Pike stated.
“This is an attempt by the Education Minister to deny the students the right to express a political opinion and to make an informed decision to protest. If high school students are old enough to work, old enough to pay tax they should have the right to protest” Simon Cunich, student walkout orgainser and Resistance, socialist youth organisation member said.
“It is the police, not students, that are preparing for a confrontation. If the NSW government is so concerned about safety why have they approved the $600,000 for a dangerous water cannon? We are armed with nothing but a peaceful message – to end the war in Iraq,” said Cunich.
Students concerned about their schools taking disciplinary action against walkout participants they are encouraged to download a permission slip … The website will also soon have a ‘know your rights at high school’ section.
Students are organising on a number of high schools and universities in the lead up to APEC. Students will be handing out leaflets and ‘Stop Bags’ outside high schools every day until the walkout.
Walkout Against George Bush
September 5, 1pm Belmore Park [Sydney, Australia].