Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Inside the SOAS student occupation

The New Statesman site has an article by SOAS students called 'Why we're occupying', which begins:

'Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in central London yesterday occupied one of the main college buildings, protesting against proposed cuts to higher education funding and tuition fee increases. The previous Thursday had seen the biggest Students' Union general meeting for many years vote to support occupation after a tense debate.

SOAS' 4,000 students have a reputation for radicalism in international issues, occupying college buildings over the Israeli invasion of Gaza in early 2009 and running anti-deportation campaigns over a number of years. But with smaller, specialist colleges like SOAS threatened with the removal of all funding for teaching, a domestic political crisis was forced centre-stage.

However, this is not just a case of SOAS being SOAS. We were joined shortly after by occupations in UWE, Bristol, and Manchester Metropolitan, and universities up and down the country will participate in a National Day of Action Against Fees and Cuts tomorrow. SOAS UCU and Unison have called on all members to show their support for the occupation, and we are holding a joint meeting tonight to coordinate anti-cuts action.'

Watch Elly Badcock's guided tour of the occupied space:

Video by Dan Poulton, via Counterfire
Also see:
Students and the history of political rebellion
From SOAS to Newcastle, students and school students gear up for action
No cuts, no fees: Newcastle students to protest on 24 November
11 NUT executive members: 'we support 24 November day of action'

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