Support Robin Sivapalan - defend workers' right to protest

Submitted by Anon on 16 November, 2006 - 2:02

A campaign has been launched to defend Robin Sivapalan, a London classroom assistant suspended for organising an anti-Blair protest at his school. Please sign the following statement of support for Robin.

On 7 September, Tony Blair and Education Secretary Alan Johnson visited Quintin Kynaston school in north London to announce the first wave of 28 "trust schools" run by business, charitable and religious organisations - of which QK will be one of two in London. They were met by a demonstration, supported by Unison and NUT locally and School Students Against the War, and composed mainly of students from the school, expressing opposition to government policy on trust schools, privatisation and the wars in Iraq and Lebanon.

The initiator of this demonstration, QK classroom assistant Robin Sivapalan, has now been suspended from his job for "insubordination" and "breaching confidentiality" by informing people of Blair’s visit.

The attempt to victimise Robin is an attack on freedom of speech and the right to protest. We are not prepared to see public service trade unionists silenced when they dare to express opposition to government policy.

We the undersigned call on the management of Quintin Kynaston to immediately reinstate Robin Sivapalan and drop all disciplinary charges against him.

Westminster Unison
John McDonnell MP, Chair, Labour Representation Committee
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary
Billy Hayes, Communication Workers' Union General Secretary
Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union General Secretary
Rahul Patel, Secretary, Westminster Unison
Bernard Regan, former QK teacher and NUT NEC member
Jon Rogers, Unison NEC
Pat Murphy, National Union of Teachers NEC
Kevin Courtney, NUT NEC
Marsha-Jane Thompson, Unison London Region Young Members' Convenor
Padraic Finn, Secretary, Westminster NUT
Nick Grant, Secretary, Ealing NUT
Martin Powell-Davies, Secretary, Lewisham NUT
Dennis Charman, Secretary, Hammersmith & Fulham NUT
Mary Compton, former president, NUT
Stephen Brown, National Union of Students National Secretary
Liam Conway, Joint Division Secretary, Notts NUT
Sofie Buckland, NUS NEC
Dave Ward, CWU Deputy General Secretary (Postal) and Labour Party NEC
Maria Exall, CWU NEC
Jane Loftus, CWU NEC
John Moloney, Public and Commercial Services Union NEC
Anita Downs, Unison steward, Guys & St Thomas’ branch (pc)
Vinothan Sangarapillai, Haringey local government Unison and Haringey Labour Party (pc)
Tom Unterrainer, Nottingham City NUT Assistant Secretary
Justin Baidoo, North Herts NUT
Faz Velmi, TGWU South London Voluntary sector branch
Sandy Nicoll, Unison Branch Secretary, School of Oriental and African Studies
Charlie Hore, Chair UNISON London Voluntary Sector branch (pc)
John Grimshaw, Camden NUT
John Game, SOAS UCU
John Buckell, Treasurer, Northampton NUT (pc)
Pat Markey, Northampton NUT
Daniel Robertson, Unison Shetland Local Government Young Members’ Officer
Pete McLaren, NUT member in Rugby; Secretary, Socialist Alliance
Steve Freeman, University and College Union, London Southbank University
Grace Drewell, Unison member London Region
John Hendy QC
Cathy Nugent, editor, Solidarity
Tim Flatman, Student Action for Refugees (pc)
Owen Jones, Socialist Youth Network
Geoff Sheridan, Green Party
Daniel Randall, Nottingham Unison
Janine Booth, Finsbury Park RMT
Pat Yarker, University of East Anglia
David Isaacson, CPGB student organiser and Unison member
Richard Seymour, London
Ed Maltby, Sheffield
Louise Gold, Sheffield University
Keith Baker, De Montfort University and No Sweat campaign
Sitara Amin Tilly, Alexandra Park VI Form, London
Guy Taylor, Globalise Resistance
Laura Schwartz, University of East London
Thomas Lalevee, Cambridge University
Daniel Paskins, Liverpool, former Labour councillor in Oxford
Ben Lewis, CPGB, Sheffield University
Derek Gillard, education consultant
Jane McGregor, Open University
Michael Wood, York University
Daniel Perrett, Oakham, Rutland
Ian Birchall
John McTague
Neil Bennet, Midlothian
Jane Bassett, NUT
David Hearn
Aisling MacSweeney, Oxford University
Mike Rowley, Ruskin College
Becky Crocker, Iraq Union Solidarity
David Broder, Bolivia Solidarity Campaign
Duncan Morrison, Father of the Chapel, Upstream Ltd Amicus/GPM branch
Dave Landau, London
Councillor Matt Sellwood, Green Party National Executive
Heenal Rajani, Housing Convenor, Lambeth Unison
Julian Wootton
Beth Aze, Salford City Council Unison steward
John Murphy, freelance journalist
Houzan Mahmoud, UK representative, Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq
Raj Gill, GMB
Ian Griffiths, GMB
Kate McLean, Brent TUC
Charlie Pottins, TGWU and Brent TUC
Ben Rickman, Amicus and Brent TUC
Sarah Cox, NUT
Tom MacLachlan
Sally Murdock, Stop the War Coalition
Lesley Jones, Labour councillor for Willesden Green, Brent
Ralph Fox, Labour councillor for Dollis Hill, Brent
Gordon Hodgson, Hackney Green Party
Paul Hampton, GMB Holborn
Pete Green
Lesley Mahmood, Merseyside Socialist Alliance, Unison
Chris Allen, Leicestershire Health Unison Labour Link Officer
Josh Robinson, Cambridge University UCU
Elinor Croxall, London
Matt Wootton, Lancaster Green Party
Mark Catterall, Unison Shop Steward South East Lancashire Libraries (pc)
Jim Jepps, Colchester
Noel Lynch, convenor, London Federation of Green Parties
Tom Lines, Brighton
Joe Rooney, NUS NEC and Education Not for Sale
Councillor Emily Heath, Lancaster Green Party
Tim Beaumont, Green Party
Colin Pritchard, PCS DWP South East London Branch Secretary
Tony Greenstein, Brighton
Councillor John Coyne, Green Party Councillor, St Michaels Ward, Liverpool
Pauline Bradley, Shop steward West Dunbartonshire Unison
Councillor Ricky Knight, North Devon
Councillor Elise Benjamin, Green Party, Oxford
Councillor Martin Love, Green Party, Shipley
Ruth Cashman, Newcastle Workers' Liberty
Katherine Crocker, York University Unison
Kath Owen, GMB, Leeds
Pete Keenlyside, Manchester CWU
Tina Day, Guy's & St Thomas' Unison
Councillor Anne Chapman, Lancaster
Dave Clinch, Secretary Devon NUT
Councillor Sue Blount, Green Party, Nottingham
Dr Joseph Healy, Green Party Trade Union Group
Janet Alty
Carol Johnston, Cambridge University
Richard Marchese
Jenny Lopez, Young Greens
Denis Wise, Bristol City Unison (pc)
Councillor Dave Nellist, Leader, Socialist Group, Coventry City Council
Jane Nellist, Joint Divisional Secretary, Coventry NUT
Professor Peter Lynn, University of Essex
Deborah Glass Woodin, Green County Councillor, Oxfordshire
Jenny Lopez, Young Greens
Danny McGowan, Secretary Sefton TUC
Angus Hebenton, Socialist Youth Network
Ben Drake, Branch Secretary, York City Unison (pc)
Aled Dilwyn Fisher, LSESU Environment and Ethics Officer
Colin Crane, NUT member, Todmoren
Dean Hall, Basildon & Thurrock Green Party
Andrew Baisley, Camden NUT
Bryan Beckingham, Oldham NUT
Cathie Willis
Jamie Johnson, Hebden Bridge
Dave Osler, NUJ
David Finch, Assisant Secretary, Roddon Teachers' Association
Charlotte Bowen, UCU member, Wiltshire College
Sean O'Keefe, Sheffield
Tom Eyers, Cambridge University
David Jackmanson
Councillor Maya de Souza, Green Party, Camden
Pippa Austin
Richard Hindes
Tony Buttifint, Treasurer, Islington NUT (pc)
Billy Tonner, GMB member, teacher of employment law, Plymouth Labour Party
Mike Kyriazopoulos, PCS Rep, Stockport CSA
Laura Rogers, Learning Support Assistant, Cambridge
Andrew Bartlett, Cardiff, UK
Pete Radcliff, Derby University UCU Secretary (pc)
Chris Pook, researcher at University of Plymouth
Helen Buxton
Tom Burnett, Bristol
Emma Bushell
Roger King, General Secretary, Birmingham NUT
Bill Anderson, Deputy General Secretary, Birmingham NUT
Nigel Baker, Deputy General Secretary, Birmingham NUT
John Carmichael, Health and Safety Officer, Birmingham NUT
Jennie Brodie, Officer Manager, Birmingham NUT
Susan Wilkinson, Linacre College, Oxford
Martin Scott, Somerville College, Oxford
John Wignall, Swindon Unison (pc)
Max Dunbar, Regional Editor, Succour magazine
Brian Leslie
Janet Assheton, Birmingham Green Party
Hazel Dawe, Chair, Kent Green Party
Peter Gray, Chesterfield
Andrew McCabe, TWGU
Richard Harris, Sheffield
James Tomkinson, South Lancashire Green Party
Vicky Russell
Jennie Bailey, Privatisation Researcher, Corporate Watch
Anna Longman, York University
Bill Linton, Enfield Green Party
Stephen Watson, Brighton
Annie Neligan, Bentham
Rosalind London
Pete Bevis, Secretary, Barnsley NUT and NUT NEC member for South Yorkshire
Bolton NUT Executive Committee
Peter Kunzmann, London
Philippa Ravn, London
Meir Shabat, politics teacher and NUT member, Esher College
Colin Barker, Honorary Lecturer in Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University; Chorlton Stop the War; Manchester SWP
Peter Venables, ex-teacher
Sean Geoghegan, Bakerloo RMT
Antony Czubkowski, Amicus Senior Shop Steward, E.On UK, Central Networks (pc)
Ruth Appleton, refugee mental health worker, Unison member
Karen Amas, TGWU
Jack Dromey, TWGU Deputy General Secretary
Ruth Styles, Unison
Jean Styles, pensioner
Jane Holgate, London Metropolitan University UCU; Secretary, Hackney TUC
John Page, GMB
Amrit Wilson, South Asia Solidarity Group
Sarbjit Johel, SASG
John Fernandes, Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards
Tom Hellberg
Kajen Thuraaisingam
Lucy Craig, London
Norman Candy, CWU
J. Denton, CWU
Arthur Scargill, National Union of Mineworkers
David Vincent
Bob Mitchell
Paul Smith, London
John-Paul Flintoff
Kay Shelley, NUJ
Simon Murphy, TSSA
Pete Firmin, CWU; Brent Trades Union Council
James Croft, London
Luisa May Jackson
Jonathan Wynne Evans, Cardiff
Mike Phipps, Kensal Green Labour Party
J Ritchie, TGWU ACTS
Sian Roberts, Unison
Emma Clossick, Oxford Socialist Students
Marcelo Dos Santos, NUJ
Jayaben Desai, leader of Grunwick strike, 1976-8
Anne Vivienne Power, Manchester Green Party
John Barclay, Dorset
Kate Adams, asylum rights campaigner, Kent
Adrian Windisch, Reading
Rachel Sales
Ashley, Louise and Adam Gunstock
Rashid Bouaissi, Manchester
Hugo Charlton, London
Martin Byrne, Accrington
Catherine Tonge
Martin Gleeson, Oldham Trades Union Council (pc)
F. Milena Lee, Islington ATL, NASUWT, NUT member
Asad Khan, NHS worker
Caroline Lucas MEP
Clarence Jackman, TGWU member, SWP and Respect supporter
Adam Johannes, Secretary, Cardiff Stop the War Coalition
Andrew Price, University and College Union NEC
Luke Haywood
Mark Finch
Celia Drummond
Heather Shaw, Manchester AWL
Anna Wolmuth, Oxford University
Roger Chisnall
Russell King
David Fish
Cambridge and District Trades Union Council
Phil Tarbuck, Foundation school governor
Kate Anderson, Stamford
Bob Archer, President, Redbridge NUT
Diana Neslen
Nick Bailey
Tim Oxton, Colchester
Saraid Dodd, London
Siobhan Dodd, London
Simon Shaw, NUT rep, Woodbridge High School, Redbridge
Dion Baugh, TGWU Member, Battersea and Wandsworth TUC organiser
Bob Crow, General Secretary, RMT
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Lambeth Unison
Phelim MacCafferty, Equalities Officer, GMB Westminster TUPS and Committee member GMB Shout! Group, London
Brenda Benstead
Seth Ferer
Clare Whitney, Cambridge University
Ryta Lyndley
Unison London Voluntary Organisations branch
Marlyn Tweedie, Shop Steward, Edinburgh Unison
Catherine Vaughan, Edinburgh
B Mackey, London Unison
Mlarden Maric, Asst Branch Sec Brent Unison
Greg Patching, Harrow
Sarah Cox, Brent NUT
Pete Ainsley, Camden Unison
Liz Wheatley, LG Shop Steward Camden Unison
I Lamb, NTW Trust, Newcastle Unison
A Pierce, International Officer, NTW Trust, Newcastle UNISON
A Choudly, Birmingham
Barry Buitekant, Labour Councillor, Hackney North
Quince Garcia, Roadwork Projects, London
James Kerr, Socialist Party
Richard Ferguson, RMT
Unjum Mirza, RMT
Bill Dowd, RMT
B Law, RMT
P Hayes, RMT
Gary Weston, RMT
Jenny O’Donnell, RMT
Arthur Nicholl, Dundee City Unison
Karen Grogan, Dundee Unison
Laura Page, Sheffield
Jane Lomas, Huddersfield
Florence Hill, Bolton Unison
Andrew Brown, International Officer, Telford Unison
Julie Jones, Staffordshire Unison
Eugenia Rossikhina, Swanlet, Kent
Adil Babar, branch officer, Blackburn Unison
J Rhodes, NW Unison
Jacqui Freeman, SOAS Unison
Clare Solomon, Finance & Communications Officer, SOAS Students' Union
Nichola Pazdjesta, SOAS
Soman Ghimire, London
Oreleo DuCran, Newham Unison
Kerrie Parke, Hackney Unison
Joan Fontaine, Newham Unison
D Powell, Unison
CC. Westal, Unison
O Osimusi, Hounslow Unison
Hermin Yiracey, Unison
Robert Taylor, Southwark Unison
Claudine Ecclestone, Islington Unison
Peter Daley, Wandsworth Unison
Marlene Austin, Barnet Unison
D. Maseko, Londonwaste Unison
E Whyte, Homerton Unison
H Dhaliwal, Hounslow LG Unison
Khi, Lambeth Unison
Owusu Boafo, SW London Mental Health Unison
N Johnston, Lambeth Unison
Barbara Lowe, Islington Unison
D Sylvan, Hackney Unison
Dave Knight, London RMT
Gary Fabian, Luton AMICUS
Jackie Darby, RMT
Ed Ladmel London PCS
Frank Murray, London RMT
Andy Salisbury, Neasden Branch RMT
Paul O’Brien, London RMT
Linda Wiles, TFL No.1, RMT
Stuart Watt, Aberdeen UCU
Faith Connell, Haringey, London
Debbie Connell, Unemployed, London
J Connell, Adelaide, Australia
G Robinson, London
R Robinson, London
Paul Robinson, Hanwell, London
Mason Durly, London
Paul Burns, London
Oliver Parsons
Barry Russell, Stoke UNISON
Dean Stewart, Hoddesdon
Michael Wainwright, London
C Campbell, Heartlands NHS Foundation Trust Branch
Jenny Jenkins, NUS
Dave Gay, NUT
Jan Nickless, Powys UNISON
M Hindley, Atherton
J Ivy, Leicester, NUS
B D’Souza, Leicester NUS
Dave Lowe, Wigan UNISON
Natalie Mills, Bolton Metro
Mike Brookes, Dorwen UNISON
Daryl Dobson, NATFHE
R Jassat, UNISON
J Bains, Indian Workers' Association
R Bains, IWA
S Dhamrait, IWA
Harbajan Dohul, IWA
Blabar Singh, IWA
K Singh, IWA
Jagir Singh, IWA
Sadhu Ram, IWA
S Singh, IWA
Amandeep Ghag, IWA
H Kaur, IWA
Omer Williams, Newport
Shereen William, Newport
Lavanyah Sethuraman, Newport
Joanne Wheel, Chorlton Unison
Robert Burbidge, Aberystwyth UCU
David Whincop, London T&G
Roxanne Blakelock, London NUS
Millie Craven, Nottingham UCU
Ulmut Bozkurt, York
Jill Woodward, Manchester University Unison
Karen Reissmann, Manchester Community Health Unison
Robert Hatcher, Birmingham NUT Exec
J Fowler, Newcastle
Helen Salmon, Greenwich Unison
Julia Armstrong, Sheffield NUJ
Sophie Jongman, Unison
Emma Back, Homerton College, Cambridge
Luke Henderson, Convenor, Edinburgh Unison
Emma Morrison, Aberdeen Unison
John Connon, Aberdeen City Unison
Natalie Sedaka, Workers Power
Alyson, Suffolk Action for Peace
Heike Schamberg, Manchester University UCU
Swaliha Bax, UEL students' union
Naeema Bax, Manchester
Taheema Bax, Manchester
N Baldwin, Manchester CND
S Diamond, Sheffield
Farzana Salim, Manchester
Amir Khan, Manchester
Andy Pike, Senior National Official for HE, UCU
Stephanie Lang, Executive Support Officer, UCU
Teresa MacKay, Secretary TGWU 1/2116 and Ipswich & District TUC
Brenda Sanders, TGWU
Bronwen Handyside, TGWU/ACTSS shop steward, Keep Our NHS Public Campaign
Tim Buckley
Martin Grimshaw, Green Party Member, Brighton
Coventry NUT
Nottingham NUT
David Kirk, Leeds Amicus
Brie Phillips, Living Wage Action Coalition, United States
Mick Duncan
Simon Byrne (18), Convenor of School Students Against War
Will Simpson
Rose Mitchell, Manchester
Alice Kilroy, retired teacher and NUT member, London
Paul Darlow, Barnsley NUT President 2006

• To sign email robin@free-education.org.uk

• For a model motion for trade union branches, see here.

• For the text of Robin's leaflet for students and workers at the school, see here.

• PCS civil service union General Secretary Mark Serwotka has called for Tony Blair's "farewell tour" to be met by "demonstrations outside every hospital, school, tax office, jobcentre, court, train station, fire station and ambulance station, all saying no to privatisation and yes to public services". For the Guardian article in which Serwotka is quoted see here.

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