"Blair, Bush, CIA - How many kids did you kill today?"
I arrive in school having only just heard the news: we are now officially at war with Iraq. It was, to put it bluntly, news I expected all along, despite being vehement in my opposition to the conflict. Reservations which would be shown later today.
It was only yesterday that I had heard there was to be a walk-out from school in protest against the war. I embraced the opportunity to protest, despite warnings from the school that suspension would be a protester's reward (probably a stupid move on my part; the GCSE exams are a mere 5 weeks away).
Preparations had been made via IM the previous night; we were to simply walk out of school during break, and set up a demonstration around the town pump. But as this moment approached, a problem soon reared its ugly head: Year 9 had already upped and left, embarking on a spree of vandalism and shoplifting which culminating in the police escorting them back to school. Things were not looking up for those who actually wanted to protest.
As break neared, with many students anxious to leave, a bell suddenly rang out. A fire bell, to be precise. After a moment's hesitation, the class shuffled out, everyone assembling on the field as per usual. As the teachers began checking everyone was there, the bell for the end of class rang.
20 minutes later, we were (finally) allowed to go, although not after the headmaster began lecturing those who had been returned to school. After a brief run to lockers to collect bags, banners, etcetra, we gathered outside the Sixth Form common room and marched into town. At last.
Overall, around 100-150 students from Year 11 and the Sixth Form turned up, just about every one of us carrying a banner of some sort. Once camped around the Town Pump and the church opposite, we proceeded to chant slogans, harass motorists, and generally have A Good Time. All the more fun was the fact that the Dorset & Devonshire Regiment of the Army was holding a recruiting session nearby. Many of the passing cars gave their support via the traditional honking of the horn, the police accepted flowers (we had acquired quite a large following of coppers thanks to the antics of the earlier group), and a good time was had by all. Hurrah.
This isn't going to be the last protest, if current events are anything to go by. And they're only going to get bigger.