■ Students from several schools in London walked out to join protests against Donald Trump on 13 July, led by Socialist Students and Young Socialists
‘It is the responsibility of all young people to stand up’
Student, Highgate Wood School
When Donald Trump came to visit on 13 July, I and several of my classmates walked out of school in protest. We acted in this way to show governments and certain political leaders that their actions do not benefit the majority.
In the act of walking out, we wanted to show that young people are politically engaged and care strongly about our future.
We wanted to stand in solidarity with all the American high school students who walked out of their classes to protest against Donald Trump and his dangerous and discriminatory politics.
Donald Trump’s policies are the epitome of inequality and prejudice. The fact that school students such as myself are the ones who recognise this issue more clearly than Trump’s cabinet and other high-ranking officials speaks volumes.
It is essential to understand that it is not only Trump we are protesting against, but the entire premise of Trumpism and all that his philosophy represents.
Trump’s presidency is a mystery to me. How is it possible that a man of his overt bigotry has risen into such a powerful position?
I believe it is the responsibility of all young people to stand up against Trump and his destructive lunacy.
Interview: ‘we could really go and just get our voices heard’
The Socialist paper spoke to student Naomi Hunter Epson from
Park View School in Tottenham
Why did you decide to walk out?
I thought it was really important that - for this march to be a success - we have lots of people. And I totally support everything it stood for. So I thought, why not?
My friend Tania let me know about it, and I just thought it was a great idea to come together, and we could really go and just get our voices heard, because so far we haven’t had a good opportunity.
How did you organise it?
My friend Tania, I think, she was initially contacted from Socialist Students, and then she sent round an email. And then she got leaflets and gave them out to me, and we all handed out leaflets in the community and in the school.
And on the actual day we waited outside the school, like a checkpoint kind of thing, to collect people, and then we could all go.
How was the demonstration?
Oh, it was fantastic! It was so big, for one. And it was so great reading all the signs people had written because people had obviously spent a lot of time coming up with really witty things to say about Trump.
Such a lovely atmosphere, because everyone was obviously there for the same reason. You didn’t know who was standing next to you, but you were all shouting the same thing - and yeah, it was brilliant.
Do you think it will have an effect?
On Donald Trump - well, he’s definitely got the message that in fact we don’t like him over here. I think we’ve made it clear that what he previously thought about Britain was not true.
On our school - I think for the students who came, yeah, it was definitely a kind of - like we can actually be part of something. That Socialist Students - I didn’t know about it before, but it’s actually a really good opportunity to be part of something that can get your voice heard, and contribute to something…
Are there issues at school you might campaign on?
Funding, in terms of trips. For example, we were going to go to Germany, because I did GCSE history. They subsidise it - but still, every student has to pay £200 or whatever.
If the school could subsidise it more - because people in our community, we actually can’t afford this. And it’s such a shame that we all have to miss out on it…
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