The Teachers-Students-Parents Safety Committee (TSPSC) in Sri Lanka condemns the threatening of Lisa Diaz in Britain with prosecution and the Family Court over her daughter’s school attendance. These actions must be denounced by parents, teachers and students all over the world as they are a major attack on fundamental democratic rights and the basic parental instinct to protect one’s children.
Diaz is being threatened by the authorities because of her opposition to the spread of COVID-19 in schools in UK and all over the world and the dangers it poses for the lives of children.
The initiative by Lisa Diaz to call for a strike over unsafe schools is a very significant step. It is part of a wider opposition developing among workers around the world to the criminal policies of the capitalist ruling elites to subordinate human lives to the profit interests of big business.
The threats against Diaz express the determination of governments all over the world to suppress any opposition to their criminal policy of “placing profits over lives”. The defence of Diaz is therefore an essential part of a fightback by the working class internationally to demand measures to eliminate the virus.
In Sri Lanka, the Gotabhaya Rajapakse government reopened schools on October 21, leading to the infection of thousands of teachers and students with COVID-19. Dozens of cases have also been reported in other educational institutions, including universities. The government pushed students into unsafe environments ignoring the need for proper health measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
At the same time, the government and media in Sri Lanka are carrying out a vicious propaganda campaign blaming protests by teachers for causing infections.
Diaz took a courageous stand in opposing the murderous policies of the ruling classes around the world and generated widespread support for the global school strikes called by her. Every section of the working class must come forward to defend Diaz and demand the dropping of all charges against her. Our committee is making every effort to win the support of Sri Lankan teachers in this fight.
We publish below comments condemning the threats against Lisa Diaz.
Hemantha Welihena a teacher working in an international school in Sri Lanka.
Lisa Diaz represents the needs of parents around the world. Omicron, the latest variant of COVID-19, has been around for the past two weeks. Parents around the world are fighting to protect their children. Parents are being left helpless in the face of the crucial question of whether to choose their job or their children.
Threatening parents who do not send their children is a subversion of the democratic rights and trying to subordinate people to the criminal herd immunity policy of the ruling class. Workers must show their strong support for the struggle carried by Lisa Diaz on behalf of parents around the world to defend their children.
Mahesh Ekanayake, a teacher from Polonnaruwa.
Generating new variants, the coronavirus pandemic is continuously surging throughout the world. Workers are being forced to work and be exploited by capitalism as part of the “new normal.” It is inhuman to force adults to send their children to their death.
The British bourgeoisie is threatening to prosecute Lisa Diaz, because she challenges this policy and defends children’s right to live. Workers and parents everywhere confront the same situation.
This is not confined to England. Even in Sri Lanka, children have been forced back into unsafe schools putting their lives in danger. Larger numbers of students and teachers are daily being infected with the virus. So, the workers should fight against the reopening of schools as Lisa Diaz has done.
Sri Lankan teachers’ unions have also supported the government in opening schools amid the threat of the epidemic. In fact, the kind of intervention made by Lisa Diaz goes against the pro-government policies of these unions.