Socialist Worker

Student occupation wins victory at Soas

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2156

Students occupying at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) have won an important victory in their campaign to win justice for deported and detained cleaners from the school.

Immigration officials seized nine cleaners on Friday of last week and several have since been deported.

The raid sparked protests by workers and students at Soas, and students occupied the director’s office from Monday of this week.

In just over 48 hours they have won a victory.

Soas has agreed to:

Request that the home secretary grants exceptional leave to remain to those detained cleaners who remain in Britain, and those forced into hiding by Friday’s raid, and the immediate return of those who have been deported.

It will also discuss the possibility of bringing cleaning services in-house and review the details of Friday’s raid with the ISS cleaning contractor, the Unison and UCU unions and the student union.

It has said that no action will be taken against anyone involved in the protest and acknowledges the UCU’s policy of non-compliance with immigration raids.

Soas and the student union released a joint statement that said, “We are disturbed by allegations that have emerged about the possible role that ISS played in the visit.”

The result shows what can be achieved by taking action and is an inspiration to others fighting for their rights.

The fight to win justice for the cleaners will continue.

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