Dr John Fanning

Isn’t it About Time We Gave Students a Break?

by Dr John Fanning Students gather in Liverpool's Sefton Park On Wednesday March 17th, a large crowd of people – many presumed to be students – gathered in Liverpool’s Sefton Park to enjoy the spring sunshine. A 40-second video recorded in the park that afternoon captures a wonderful vista of youthful exuberance. Under a beautiful blue Merseyside sky and against the green-tinged backdrop of budding trees, what could easily be a thousand young people are seen congregating closely together. Many are wearing green, presumably to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Liverpool’s (and perhaps their own) proud Irish heritage. It is a vision of spring; a picture of hope and renewal, of optimism and fearlessness. The recording captures people standing and talking excitedly, scurrying through the crowd searching for their friends, dancing to the tinny beat of music from an unseen speaker, and sitting on picnic blankets and swigging from cans of lager. Two men pushing bikes walk into the frame; in the distance, people are playing catch. It is a joyous scene of fun and friendship. And almost everyone in it was breaking the law. Naturally, the fun police – by which I mean Merseyside Police – were soon on the case. Dozens of officers alighted from the sort of heavy-duty police vans one might expect to see after a...

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December 2022
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