School Students Against War

From Samuel Fairbairn


School Students Against War (SSAW) is an organisation run solely by school and college students. The organisation was formed in 2003 on the Stop the War Coalition's February 15th demonstration where 2 million people marched against the war in Iraq. Since then SSAW has been a huge part of the anti-war movement and has grown to be the biggest anti-war youth group in the country with groups in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bristol, Canterbury and Kent.Others are currently working in schools in their area to set up groups. SSAW brings together many different people from many different political opinions and backgrounds.


SSAW has taken part in every Stop the War demonstration since 2003 and got 50 people up to Manchester for the Time To Go demonstration in September. We were also involved in the disarm DSEi actions in 2005 :a campaign to stop DSEi trading deadly arms all over the world in their arms fair every 2 years. During these actions, SSAW managed to blockade a road and stop the arms traders getting to their arranged meal in central London. SSAW organised the school student strikes in 2003 when tens of thousands of school students walked out in disgust over this country's foreign policy. We also took part in the G8 protests last year in Scotland and got 100 school students up to the various protests in that week. Our most recent action was a die-in on Remembrance Day to remember the dead of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine. This was a successful event in which 50 school students joined us in a die-in at the US embassy and then a march down Oxford Street with more die-ins on the way.


SSAW's current campaigns, apart from troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan etc, are to get the military out of our schools. We have just launched this campaign, which involves school students taking a petition around their schools and getting students, parents and teachers to sign it and then submit it to the governors and the head teacher. SSAW has also organised a benefit gig to raise money so we can continue our campaigns. The gig will have some amazing acoustic, folk, soul and rock bands with some stand up comedians and some poetry, as well as speakers from SSAW and the Stop the War Coalition. Everyone is welcome at this gig; itís not just for school students! We are also planning for our annual national conference.


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