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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 March 2018

Goldsmiths students occupy and protest in support of UCU strikers

Goldsmiths students occupying in support of university workers' pension strikes, photo by Goldsmiths Socialist Students

Goldsmiths students occupying in support of university workers' pension strikes, photo by Goldsmiths Socialist Students   (Click to enlarge)

Ellen Kenyon Peers, Goldsmiths Socialist Students

Student activism has been invigorated during the University and College Union (UCU) strike at Goldsmiths, part of the University of London.

Even in the final week of term, when staff were no longer striking but instead 'working to contract' (which means leaving at five when they stop being paid), a group of students decided to enact a flash occupation of the university's Great Hall - which was holding a post-graduate open day for prospective students.

Initially marching onto the stage with banners and Socialist Students placards to prevent a speech by the vice-chancellor, and reading a list of demands which included safe and affordable student housing, more funding for mental health services, democratic governance of the institution and defence of pensions, the protesters moved peacefully and chanted around the hall.

Walked out

UCU members walked out at five to chants of 'the strike goes on'. Some lecturers attempted to stay until the 7pm timetabled finish but most left when they realised the event had been shut down by staff and students.

A rally with speakers including the National Education Union's Martin Powell Davies, Unison's April Ashley, Claire Laker-Mansfield of Socialist Students and 15-year-old Adam Abdullah - who is setting up a student union at his school - went ahead despite the head of Goldsmiths estates team locking the great hall doors with bike locks.

Students were outraged by what was undoubtedly a scare tactic by university management (who had earlier hidden food brought by protesters). But they were thwarted by students who held a side door open to give the speakers access. As was read to university management: 'We are the university, we are united, we will fight, we will resist and we will be back!'

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In The Socialist 28 March 2018:


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Related links:

Goldsmiths:

triangleGoldsmiths Socialist Students Society: Russian 1917 - When workers took power

triangleWinning a new generation of students

triangleThem & Us

triangleStudents occupy for free education

triangleGoldsmiths students occupy town hall

UCU:

triangleUCU members vote to end pensions dispute

triangleReject the deal - keep the action on

triangleStrike action forces bosses to retreat but keep the pressure on

triangleLiverpool Uni staff set to fight 220 job losses

Students:

triangleCollege protest against job losses

triangleMoving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

triangleFCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

Protest:

triangleHull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game

triangleTaking the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

Occupy:

triangle'Occupy to save the town square'

University:

triangleUCU strike: staff and students unite to continue pensions fight after magnificent 14 days of action

Student:

triangleUSA: Huge 'march for our lives' protests

Socialist Students:

triangleStudents protest as NUS restricts debate

London:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Our local TUSC council challenge

Lecturers:

triangleStrike continues: set dates for next national action

Education:

triangleChild poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

Pensions:

triangleBT can afford more - reject pensions offer

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