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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 John S - 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:

What we think

Antisemitism slurs: latest attempt to derail Corbynism

Socialist Party workplace news

NEU conference 2018: Strike to take on the Tories

UCU: Strike action forces bosses to retreat but keep the pressure on

NHS pay: Reject the Tories' divide and rule offer

British Museum: Carillion workers demand to be brought back in-house

Victimised recycling strikers uncowed as Hull strike wave builds

Liverpool Uni staff set to fight 220 job losses

Aberdeen bus drivers strike against pay cuts

Migrant cleaners win living wage at Mail

Local elections 2018

For Whom the School Bell Tolls: Our kids or the Tories?

Southampton asks "What will you do to stop education cuts?"

Campaign against Newham academies boosted by victories

Save Free School Meals!

Martin Luther King

The life and legacy of Martin Luther King

Socialist Party news and analysis

Grenfell: survivors not rehoused, inquiry not independent, blocks not safe

Walkout from undercover policing inquiry

Social media

Social media - the potential and the limits

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tories fear youth revolt - fight for our future

Goldsmiths students occupy and protest in support of UCU strikers

Walthamstow Save Our Square protesters thrown out of city hall for demanding a say

Northern Socialist Party conference

North West Socialist Party conference

Building fund appeal

Bristol Socialist Students join Yarlswood demo

May Day greetings: Lend your support to the fight against the bosses

International socialist news and analysis

France: Pressure mounts on Macron government

USA: Huge 'march for our lives' protests

Russia's predictable presidential election


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