Given that the government has colluded with the KL to force an ultimatum, contrary to the Danish Model, and that this lockout was planned from Day One, I am not really sure which forms of protest would actually “work”.
In Denmark, the only legitimate forms of protest are:-
- A letter to the editor
- A march with banners
- A “happening”
And obviously, these are not going to light anyone on fire. That’s why they are the only legitimate forms of protest!
Other peaceful (but essentially outlawed), forms of protest include:-
- Sit ins
- Blocking entry to places
- Chaining yourself to things
- Living in a tent city
I would never do any of those because I could get deported. I would almost certainly be pepper sprayed. There could be “train tracks” (where police keep protesters tied up for hours on end in the street)
A lot of people have suggested that teachers defy the lockout and just teach. This is what would happen if the teachers defied the lockout and just taught:-
- First they would need to contact the students/parents to let them know it was going on. They are not allowed to contact them. They are locked out of the email system.
- If we step foot on school property, we would be trespassing and the police could be called
- The school could instantly dismiss us because:-
- The school will lose ALL the money the boroughs send them (and not just the money they are not sending to pay our salaries)
- The school would be fined
- The school would be blockaded
- The individual teacher, who is not getting paid by their employer, will lose their financial support from the union.
Now, what if ALL the teachers did it. As an action. As a protest. Now, bearing in mind, not all the teachers agree on everything, so it would be quite the task to get ALL of them on board… If ALL the teachers did it, perhaps the consequences would not come immediately. Perhaps, the police would not be able to attend every school. But the boroughs are saving MILLIONS every day in not paying us. They would be very excited to be able to save the rest of the money they pay schools. Very excited indeed.
The KL would not be shamed into stopping the lockout by this action. They have been promised a big fat bonus for doing this. If they do not keep this going, they stand to lose a lot for their budgets.
Will the government be shamed by teachers teaching in defiance of a lock out? Considering that the unions are trying to secure the principle that our time is worth paying for, I am not sure working for free really gets that message over. I am not sure the government would do anything other than say it was regrettable that schools were fined… and they really really think that their proposed changes will make sure everyone can read when they leave school. Like they always say.
I think they have let this go too far. They hope to starve the teachers into submission and they hope that parents will turn against the teachers. But I think they have just shown themselves up as bullies and incompetents. I think when this is all over and we can go back to school, the politicians are the ones who are going to lose overall.