School's Back-Fight Continues

November 10, 1997

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School's Back-Fight Continues
School's Back-Fight Continues
dated November 10, 1997

School's Back-Fight Continues
The political protest by Ontario teachers, against legislative changes to public education, entered a new phase Saturday November 8th with a Common Front sponsored rally in front of the Ontario legislature.
For two weeks days, the teachers shut down schools across the province to show their opposition to Bill 160. Prior to their march to the legislature CAW National President, Buzz Hargrove said the labour movement could learn from the teachers.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"The teachers were standing up for quality public education but they were also standing up for the rest of us, saying, that in any sector of the economy, if change is important, it should surely stand the test of democratic debate and input in the province. They were standing up for democratic government. Great on the teachers."

Hargrove then led more than 500 CAW members in a march through the streets of Toronto to Queens Park. More than 20 thousand teachers, trade unionists and social activists covered the lawn of the legislature.
Earl Manners, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation issued this challenge to the Harris government.

Earl Manners
O.S.S.T.F. President

"You may try to dictate what's going to happen in our education system but you will never subjugate the teachers and the education workers of this province."

The governing Tories weren't the only parliamentarians issued a challenge. Canadian Labour Congress President, Bob White, had suggestions for members of the opposition parties.

Bob White
CLC President

"They must do whatever they have to , parliamentary or non parliamentary, whatever rules say or don't say Harris doesn't live by the rules of democracy, we can't. We have to go in the legislature, do whatever the hell is required to stop the passage of Bill 160."

Hargrove told the crowd, everyone owes the teachers a debt of gratitude. To honour that debt, the labour movement as a whole, must take the next step.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"We now have to move, to take our community by community protests where we shut down communities to a province wide protest, where we shut down the province".

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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