Socialist Worker

Soas student occupation declares victory as university concedes demands

by Siân Ruddick at the Soas occupation
Issue No. 2134

Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) occupying the Brunei Gallery in solidarity with Gaza have declared victory after winning significant demands from the university management.

These include an agreement that there will be no military on campus without prior consultation with the student union. A motion passed yesterday by the student union opposes all military presence on campus. It stands for the next five years.

The occupying students will also have exclusive use of the gallery space until end of day Friday. This time will be used to hold meetings on issues related to Israel's assault on Gaza, such as boycotting Israeli goods and Israeli war crimes. Tariq Ali is already confirmed to speak at the space tomorrow.

University authorities have also agreed that students will be able use the lecture theatre and gallery for their own use throughout the year. Previously the rooms cost £1,000 to hire for a day – though the Ministry of Defence got it for free.

There will be no repercussions for the students involved in the occupation of the gallery. The mood here remains defiant and ready to ramp up the campaign for solidarity with Palestinians.


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