Campaigning to save Schools in Christchurch Teachers and principals in Christchurch New Zealand have voted to strike against plans to close and merge schools The Christchurch government has used the pretext of last year's devastating earthquake to 'reorganise' schools in the town. This would appear to be yet another example of the use by neo-liberal governments of what has been called the 'schock doctrine' - using a natural or policitcal disaster to remake society along neo-liberal lines. In this case the authorities are proposing to close or merge 39 schools, against the wishes of the teachers, children and local communities. Teachers say there are also plans to introduce charter schools as well as mega-size schools and that Christchurch is being used as a 'guinea pig' for plans which the government would like to roll out in the whole of New Zealand. Teachers and principals attended a packed union meeting where 900 members voted by 83% to strike on the 19th February. One teacher told the New Zealand Herald: "This strike is technically unlawful, yes it is, but when you look the parents in the eye and you say 'We are doing it for your children', they will understand." Speaking of the vital role teachers played in protecting children during the earthquake, he went on: "I did not know of one single teacher who ran out the gate to look after their families. We stayed, we did our jobs, we cared for our kids, and we've continued to care about them every single day since."