Socialist Worker

South London college occupied in cuts battle

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2463

Continuing the protest on Monday evening of this week

Continuing the protest on Monday evening of this week (Pic: Socialist Worker)


A small group of activists occupied against the closure of the Camberwell site of Lewisham and Southwark College (Lesoco) last Sunday.

College governors voted earlier this month to close it within weeks. Some 300 students study there, mainly learning basic skills and English for Speakers of Other Languages (Esol).

Police evicted the activists on Monday of this week.

Shakira Martin is vice president for Further Education in the NUS students’ union. She told Socialist Worker, “I’m disgusted at the police that came with dogs to evict us. But we have made a stand for further education and I hope it can empower other colleges.”

UCU union members at the college struck for three days in June against bosses’ cuts plans and have held several protests.

Union leaders had a chance to build a strong campaign. Workers overwhelmingly backed action. Harder-hitting, more coordinated action would have had a bigger impact.

Shakira said the eviction has made her “more determined”. She said, “If we wait too long before fighting, more of our resources and services will be gone.”

See Defend Lewisham and Southwark College on Facebook

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