It’s a demo to stop a potential demo.
Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Barbara Tranter is organizing what she’s calling a literal “call to arms” to peacefully protest the selling of Parliament Oak School, by gathering enough people to stand arm-in-arm around the building.
The demonstration is set for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27.
During the last few months, negotiations over the future of the school have sparked controversy after the District School Board of Niagara refused to sell the property to the town of NOTL, which wants to repurpose the building as a community hub.
Tranter made a Facebook post on Dec. 19, asking those who want to keep the school in the hands of the community to come and show their support.
The post said:
“A CALL TO ARMS
Literally, we need your arms to reach out and hold onto the person next to you. December 27, 2:30 pm we are all meeting at Parliament Oak School to hold onto our history.
The Community Hub Group and all of US can show our solidarity before the day of reckoning when the tenders are reckoned with.
Please let us know if you can attend by, once again, posting your intention. By my estimation, and math was not my strong suit, we need minimum 60 bodies. But would welcome many more. Bring your friends and children.”
Tranter has since estimated the number of people needed to complete the chain will be closer to 150.
The post has since gotten 53 shares and an outpouring of community support.
Recently, residents have been speculating the site might have historic value, hoping that it might be enough to halt the sale process. Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates has spoken in support of keeping the school building in the community.
Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter also said she encourages the school board to work with the town of NOTL.