I’m a Potter fan.
Who can fail to admire a school child who, in the face of injustice, stands up to people, older, and more powerful than herself, for what she believes in? In the face of opposition, bullying, and threats, Potter and her peers got what they demanded, bringing about change for fellow pupils, and the children of Burston.
Violet Potter was a pupil at Burston, in Norfolk when, in 1914 she helped organise a strike in protest over the sacking of teachers, Tom and Kitty Higdon. A previous post from last year gives a little more detail of the story.
It was the 1st April 1914 when Tom and Kitty Higdon were handing over the keys to the village school that a group of school pupils began marching around the village chanting “We want our teachers back”.
This was no April Fool’s Joke. The children got their teachers back in what became the ‘Burston Stike School’. It was a strike which continued for 25 years, and remains the longest strike in history.
The strike was not an easy thing for the children or their families to support. The Higdon’s were in conflict with the Church, local landowners and employers. The very livelihoods of families could be at stake for supporting the strike school. So, when you are facing injustice, or intransigent stupidity from those who seemingly have more power than you, and you are scared, or being bullied, just remember those school children.
This coming weekend, on Sunday 4th September, an annual rally will take place in Burston, Norfolk. The rally will kick of at 11.00 on Church Green. This year, the union Unite organises the rally, which will feature speeches by Diana Holland from Unite, Kelvin Hopkins MP, NHS worker Dave Carr, and student activist Mary Robinson. Entertainment will be provided by poet John Hegley, with music from Red Flags, as well as Robb Johnson & The Irregulars.
Unite the Union’s website has more information on the rally, including directions.