UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee holds online forum as Johnson government lifts all safety restrictions | #students | #parents

The UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety committee held an online meeting Saturday, to outline a response to the pandemic based on science and the need to protect the health, livelihoods and lives of working people. It proposed a programme on which to oppose Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s herd immunity policies that have sacrificed 150,000 lives to protect profit.

As the global death toll surpasses four million, public health restrictions are being scrapped in one country after another while more transmissible variants such as Delta spread exponentially.

Alex Dickerson the reception class teacher, left leads the class at the Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Greenwich, London, Monday, May 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Tania Kent, a Socialist Equality Party member, special needs teacher and chairperson of the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee explained the aim of popularising “the call made by the International Committee of the Fourth International for the establishment of an International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees to organise the global fight back.”

She explained how UK prime minister Johnson had declared, in e nding Covid restrictions, “I want to stress from the outset that this pandemic is far from over. There could be 50,000 cases per day.”

Support group Long Covid Kids reports 59 paediatric deaths due to COVID and 9,000 children with long COVID extending beyond 12 months.

“A government that claims to be acting in the interests of children,” said Kent, “is allowed to oversee the deaths and suffering of young children, with no challenge from what passes as the official organisations of the working class.”

Labour Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has complained that the government’s announcement “isn’t a guarantee that restrictions will end—only what it will look like.”

The National Education Union (NEU) released a press statement asking the government, “Are there any thresholds on case numbers, or hospitalisation or deaths that mean the DfE would do something different in schools in September? We all know the results of dither and delay.”

“To call a social crime of unprecedented scale ‘dither and delay’,” said Kent, “exposes the unions as nothing but an arm of the government in imposing social murder. Their main concern is the reopening of schools being jeopardised, not the threat to lives.”

“The international working class must act to take the response to the pandemic into its own hands, based on the fight for a socialist programme,” Kent concluded.

Tomas, a teacher and member of the Socialist Equality Group in Brazil, told the meeting, “Yesterday, the government registered 1,500 new deaths, which brought the death rate in Brazil to more than 530,000.”

Coupled with economic hardship, this has “provoked a wave of social opposition. Over the past month, Brazil has seen three days of massive protests. Hundreds of thousands marched against the homicidal policies of President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.”

Bolsonaro “discouraged the wearing of masks and social distancing; promoted drugs without scientific proof as quack cures; encouraged disobedience of ‘lockdown’ decrees and sabotaged the vaccination campaign.”

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