>Smash School Privatisation: Eviction Resistors

Wednesday 16 July 2008:
By the afternoon most of Tent City was gone. The bailiffs arrived that morning and issued a second injunction on every person and every tent on the Wembley Park Sports Ground, threatening all with arrest.

The council bailiffs said they would return later that day with specialist equipment to remove anyone on the sports ground rooftop.

So, Brent NUT and ATL Secretary Hank Roberts D-locked himself to the rooftop flagpole, that now flew a black flag with the words: “No Academy. Save Our Sports Ground.”

The “media” arrived, both freelance and independent, along with all the usual suspects – BBC, ITN, Evening Standard. Several supporters muttered to me that it always takes a stunt like this and someone facing jail for them to take an interest in such a story.

“If there ain’t blood, we don’t buy it.” I replied.

But the bailiffs did not return. At least, not while the cameras were there. This was an interesting point. The council knew when to head back into the sports ground, after all the media had left.

But council snoops should not shock anyone, not in this day and age, not when the council now has the legal right to put individuals under surveillance, bug phones and monitor emails – to seek out benefit cheats. Or people who overfill their wheelie bins. Or forget to cut their hedge and it grows too high by council standards.

I was informed by a prominent civil rights lawyer last week you can actually do jail time for that. For a high hedge.

Later in the day NUT National President Bill Greenshields arrived.

“We don’t believe this is a process of anything to do with educational standards,” he said in an interview. “We believe it is the privatisation of public services.

“There is a huge amount of money to be made out of investment in education… [Education International] perceive this as very powerful and predatory entrepreneurs taking over the process of education and using it for profit, not for the benefit of children.”

Roberts remained on the rooftop for the second night running. The bailiffs never arrived with their specialised equipment to remove him. The Wembley Park Anti-Academy Tent City Occupation survived a second day of eviction.

Wembley Tent City: Eviction Day Two

Save Our Schools 22-minute film available on Reel News issue 13
Stop them Privatising Our Schools available on Reel News issue 12
Wembley Occupation available on Reel News issue 10

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