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From: "Jo Makepeace" (
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 19:38:11 +0100
Subject: SchNEWS 603, Friday 21st September 2007

tree platforms protest at Wembley Park Sports Ground (London)



Anti-academy protesters, who set up camp on a community sports ground in Wembley to prevent the building of a neo-Labour City Academy (see SchNEWS 584), have taken things to the trees. The group (mainly composed of teachers) have been occupying the site for the past six months. In response to the potential eviction threat they have seized the high ground. Expertly built platforms, apparently inspired by a visit to Thailand, now give protesters a vantage point on Brent Town Hall.

Despite massive investment, pupil's test results in city academies have shown little or no improvement. The proposed site is used extensively by a local community which was promised by their local councillors that the land would not be used for the new high tech, corporate sponsored school. A nursery, community hall and three local businesses face the axe if the building goes ahead. The Academy would cost around 30 million of public money, but would be under control by its corporate sponsors. Whilst there are three successful schools already in the area, South Brent desperately needs more school places with 3,000 kids having to travel out of the local area to get to school.

SchNEWS spoke to one tree-sitter: "We're in sight of the town hall, we're not going to let them build this school - we're taking direct action because they've not engaged in consultation. We know we'd win a consultation because we've got the local people behind us. We're inspired by the M11 campaign and we're going to be taking more direct action."

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