An English teacher from Philando Castile's old school waits to be arrested

Teachers and parents in Minnesota in the USA staged a march yesterday in protest over the killings of black people by police in the country. The protesters held up traffic in down down Minneapolis as they demanded that the state invest in education instead of in a criminal justice system which disrupts education, particularly for children of colour. They also protested outside the Bank of America, against the profiteering from organisations which oppress low income people, particularly those of colour, like payday loan companies, sub-prime mortgage institutions and private prisons.

There have been protests all over the USA in response to the killing of black people by police. The new round of protests was triggered after the fatal shooting of a young education worker in St Paul, Minnesota, who was pulled over for a minor traffic offence and killed by police in front of his girlfriend and her young child. Philando Castile had worked for St Paul public schools for ten years, most recently as a cafeteria supervisor. After his shooting the school community came together to mourn him, many speaking of his popularity and kindness to staff and students alike, who knew him as 'Mr Phil.'

19 arrests were made at the teachers' protest yesterday, which started from the Convention Centre in Minneapolis where the American Federation of Teachers are holding their annual conference. The AFT convention supported the march. St Pauls AFT President said: "We can't just go out and march and grieve and talk and then go back to our lives. We've got to keep the pressure on . . . If we really want to push forward education, if we want to do all these things around closing the achievement gap, we need to actually address the systemic issues that are getting in the way of young students of color — in particular black students — from being able to learn, which at this point is being able to just live."

These latest protests form part of the increasing involvement of teachers in the US and globally in a fight for much more than just pay and conditions - the fight for social justice.