Students at Goldsmiths College in south east London went into occupation today against the threat by government and university management to cut courses and funding in higher education.
The students and college staff in the UCU union had held a 100-strong rally on campus this afternoon.
About 40 students marched from this to occupy the Deptford Town Hall building, which is part of the university.
The same building was occupied in solidarity with the people of Gaza in January 2009.
The occupiers are calling for support and more people to get involved. They are communicating using Facebook and Twitter and have leafleted the library and halls of residence.
First year fine arts student Ren helped organise the rally. From inside the occupation she told Socialist Worker, “The student union, student organisations and societies all pulled together to make this happen. We’ve been organising meetings and making banners to spread the word that students need to fight back against the cuts. We want to be able to turn people’s anger into action. This occupation shows that a fightback is possible.”
Joe is a first year student in music computing. He said, “Goldsmiths is an entirely humanities and arts university. But, all government funding has been cut to humanities and the Arts Council has been scrapped. So Goldsmiths will feel the cuts very hard.”
Siân is a third year history student and a member of the feminist society. She told Socialist Worker, “The campaign to save the college nursery has joined up with the anti cuts movement. If the nursery goes it means that women—especially those who have come to Goldsmiths through access courses and also have children—will be cut out of education once and for all.
“The cuts don’t mean that nobody will be able to go to university, they mean that only a select minority will be able to access education.”
The students are planning to stay in for 24 hours in a symbolic protest against the cuts and are mobilising for the National Union of Students demonstration on in central London on Wednesday 10 November.
Ren said, “We need a nationwide movement of occupations. We need even more walkouts on Wednesday 24 November, which is a national day of action against the cuts.”
For more on Goldsmiths and the occupation go to http://savegoldsmiths.tumblr.com
For the student demonstration go to www.demo2010.org