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Protest called against New McCarthyism 27/08/2007

Since March Mark Walker has been suspended “without prejudice” on full pay from Sunnydale Community College. No disciplinary charges have yet been brought. Yet Mark has been subjected to a harrowing series of ‘investigatory’ meetings. This has had a toll on his health and well-being. Mark has a young family to support and much of the period coincided with his wife being pregnant. No consideration has been shown to Mark or his family.

The latest ‘investigatory meeting’ is scheduled for this Monday, 3 September, 2007. The reasons given for his suspension are pretexts – misuse of school computer equipment. The political purpose of the ‘investigation’ is clear in the line of questioning – and because only Mark (amongst all the staff) is being singled out. Partial Justice is no Justice at all. For a rule to be fair it must be applied to everyone. Mark is being targeted in this ‘rotten borough’ because he has had the temerity to make his distaste for New Labour and support for the British National Party (BNP) clear.

Mark has strong supporters. Apart from the many parents and kids who think he is a great teacher he is backed by his Trade Union Solidarity and the campaigning group Civil Liberty. They have vowed to defend his human, employment and civil rights.

Pat Harrington, the General Secretary of Solidarity, said:-
“I want the message to go out to would be bullies everywhere that we are prepared to stand-up for our members I am frankly shocked by the way in which the other teaching unions have colluded in this persecution. The NUT in particular have disgraced themselves. We will defend our members right not to be singled out or victimised on account of either their political beliefs or Trade Union membership. Mark is a good teacher and should be allowed to teach.”

Dave Durant, a Spokesman for the National Liberal Party commented:
The National LIberal Party condemns the persecution of Mark Walker. Mark is a member of the BNP but we would defend his right to do his job if he were a Communist or of any other persuasion. We stand behind him and against any form of discrimination on grounds of political or religious belief.”

On Monday, 3 September, Civil Liberty have called a demonstration outside Sunnydale. From 8am there will be a picket. We urge as many people who care about freedom and are opposed to this New McCarthyism to attend.

If you are unable to attend we urge you to fax, write, email or ring the Headteacher and make clear your opposition to the persecution. Contact:-

Sue Byrne
Sunnydale Community College
Middridge Lane
County Durham
Tel: 01388 772526
Fax: 01388 773184


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