School students take on Wimpey

Campaign against M77 mounts

THE M77 protests at Pollok Park, Glasgow took a decidedly proletarian turn last week when local youths forced the contractors to stop work on this unnecessary motorway extension.

The protesters at ‘Pollok Free State’ were confronted with 350 police and security guards. When two of the leaders, Lincoln Keenan and Ian Boyle, were arrested, the protest looked all but over.

Then around 500 school pupils from the local Bellarmine secondary school skipped classes and swarmed all over the site, rendering the contractors, Wimpey Construction, helpless.

The pupils were joined by dozens of adults from the Pollok estate and it was then that about 50 of the 150 security guards threw away their helmets and joined the protesters.

Local working class people do not want this extension because they believe it is dangerously close to their homes and will ruin one of the very few recreational facilities in the area.

The battle has been closely linked to the campaign against the Criminal Justice Act and it has developed into a fight between the state, big business and a local community.

Saturday’s illegal ‘defiance demonstration’ against the CJA will end up at the ‘Pollok Free State’ and will be an opportunity to link the Pollok Park protest with broader issues facing workers in Britain today.

Mary Ward