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Positive outcome from Monday's student 'strike'

22 March 2006

Positive outcome from Monday's student 'strike'

News that some school students will be engaging further in the democratic process following Monday's 'strike' by Auckland school students in support of her Bill to remove youth rates has been greeted with pleasure by Green Party Industrial Relations Spokesperson Sue Bradford.

On Monday, students at Takapuna Grammar were urged by their principal not to take part in the 'strike', and were promised in return that three students would be able to visit Parliament to discuss the issue of youth rates directly with MPs.

Ms Bradford is delighted that Labour Minister Ruth Dyson will meet with these students on Monday.

"It is great that these students, albeit only three of them, will have the opportunity to engage further with the democratic process following Monday's protest action," Ms Bradford says.

"Direct action, or the threat of direct action in this case, can make a very positive contribution to debate over important issues.

"Other students who did participate in the protest in Auckland will also have had a valuable learning experience about political activism."

Ms Bradford also rejected a call from National MP Bill English that she should apologise to parents of students who took part in the protest for 'organising' it.

"The Green Party had nothing to do with the organisation of Monday's protest action. It was organised by an entirely independent group, Radical Youth, with the practical support of the Unite! Union, as Mr English well knows," Ms Bradford says.

"I fully endorse the students involved for taking the initiative to organise powerful direct action on such an important issue, and welcome their vocal support for my Bill, which I hope will be taken into account by the select committee, but I had no part in organising it.

"To suggest that these students were somehow manipulated into action by other groups simply belittles their hard work and undermines their passionately held views on this issue," Ms Bradford says.

ENDS

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