School Survival

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Walkout in Oakville
Product of Persistence
Thu Oct 25, 2001

Oakville walked out too! But the politics were backwards. At my school, walkouts can only occur if the weather was good. But I managed to get thirty students and about 10 or 20 pedestrians to help.

I started at 9:00am Monday morning with a sign that said "PROVINCE WIDE STUDENT WALKOUT OCT 23RD". By 9:30 cars were slowing down, some even stopped to ask what we were protesting. I told them, and they were in full support.

At about 9:45am (which is break time at my school) the students started flowing through the crosswalk as they read my sign. Some asked if they would get suspended, I simply told them if they bring their friends, they would not because it's in support of the teachers and students across Ontario.

By 10:00am, everyone was gone. So there I was, sitting by myself at the crosswalk waiting for more cars or people to show support. I waited until lunch time which is 11:00am at my school. One bad apple came up and ripped my sign in four, threw it on the wet ground and tole ME that I was making the school look bad. That ended my campaign for the day.

The next day, I waited in the Main hallway in the front of the school with a drum and five rather large signs. People told me that I was going to make an ass of myself. I told them to come out anyways. The second I walked out I was immediately confronted by my Vice Principal. He told me that If I walked out, he would suspend me, and whoever walks out with me will also be suspended. I beat my drum as hard as I could, I blew my whistle as loud as I could and made my way through the VP and a crowd of smokers.

I guess that sparked a rebellion because I had 20 people walk out with me. We took over the crosswalk. We stayed there for about fifteen minutes. Cars were honking their horns for us to move. One individual told each car what was going on and how to get around us. The cars didn't move and neither did we. Then one driver who was apparently on our side said, I'll follow you to the next intersection.

So we moved. Right in front of police headquarters in Oakville. The cars helped stop traffic until lunch which was 11:00am. Two hours of stopped traffic on the busiest intersection in Oakville. A major accomplishment, well not quite. When we moved along the street back towards our school, we were confronted by about 15 police officers waiting to arrest someone.

It turns out that we were lucky that there was alot of traffic in front of the police station and around the intersection, the police cars were too far back to see what was going on, and too dumb or lazy to walk.

Back to the front line. One officer shouted "Who is responsible for this?", I raised my hand and shouted back from the middle if the 30- 40 person crowd, "I am".

Lucky me I had picked some really good protesters. The rest one by one raised their hand and shouted the same thing. The police were obviously looking for a confrontation. So we made a deal, walk us back to the school, no arrests, or we'll go back to the intersection and work our way downtown.

The police took their time deciding what to do. We had reached an agreement. The police could walk us back to the school, no arrests, as long as we wouldn't block another intersection during the next walkout.

As we walked back the crowd dispersed, so did the police. We managed to get back to the dull, school with a stopped short, but very successful walkout.

- Just A. Guy

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