Socialist Worker

Hundreds march in support of London LSE student occupation

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2445

Students at London School of Economics went into occupation on Tuesday of this week

Students at London School of Economics went into occupation on Tuesday of this week (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Up to 300 people marched through the campus of London School of Economics (LSE) yesterday, Thursday, in support of a student occupation there.

Students have been occupying a room in LSE’s Old Building since Tuesday of this week. They are demanding that the university support free education by lobbying the government to scrap tuition fees.

They are also demanding that the university abolishes zero hour contracts for university employees. There is also a call to end contracts with companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine and to refuse to implement the Islamophobic Counter Terrorism Bill.

Students have demanded their university abolishes zero hour contracts

Students have demanded their university abolishes zero hour contracts (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Part of the sit-down protest

Part of the sit-down protest (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Aysha, community and welfare officer elect at LSE Students Union, is one of the occupiers. She told Socialist Worker, “The students union and students have been working and campaigning around these issues throughout the term.

“But seeing as it’s the end of term we had to take a more radical step because management weren’t budging.”

Amy, another protester, told Socialist Worker, “I’m new to student protests, but I support everything that they’re occupying for – particularly the call for free education.

Excludes

I think that the education system we have now excludes people from working class backgrounds

“Free education might seem out of reach, but they have it in other countries, so it’s not impossible.”

After marching through campus, the occupiers and their supporters held a sit-down protest outside the Royal College of Surgeons, where cleaners in the Unison union have been campaigning over pay.

The cleaners, who are mainly migrants, had joined the march with their Unison banner. And one of them spoke at the protest.

At least 150 people packed into the occupation after the protest, where they debated its demands and how to take the campaign forward. They also discussed joining the Stand Up to Racism march in London this Saturday, as well as inviting National Gallery strikers and victimised Crossrail workers to visit the occupation.

One protester, who didn’t want to be named, said he was excited by the level of support the occupation was getting.

He told Socialist Worker, “I think there’s a chance that the occupation will be successful. There’s been such a buzz created by this protest, and there’s a lot of support”.

The occupiers decided that to call a day of action on LSE’s open day on Wednesday of next week if management don’t move during ongoing negotiations.

Supporters from across London should join them if the day of action goes ahead.

Send messages of support to LSE occupiers to ouruniversity@gmail.com

 

  • University of the Arts London students went into occupation at the Central St Martin’s Campus in King’s Cross over cuts to foundation courses last night.

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