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From the street to the classroom

January 21st, 2009 · post by Fred Goodsell · 5 Comments

From The Street To The Classroom

Since the occupation of the Brunei Gallery Suite of the SOAS, students across the country have been taking action in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Students at Warwick, Essex (see blog), Birmingham (see blog), London School of Economics (see blog), Kings College (see blog) and Sussex (see blog) have reclaimed university space in protest of Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

Each occupation has outlined a set of demands to be met by college administration. These demands range from complete financial scholarships for Palestinian students and banning Israeli goods from campus to more control for the student’s union over what university space is used for.


At Sussex University in Brighton over 80 students have occupied a major lecture theatre stating “the occupied space will be used for education and dialogue until…..demands are met”. A communique appeared on indymedia claiming to be from Sussex Uni students

“Occupying students of Sussex University extend their full support and solidarity to all other university occupations that have taken and continue to take place in response to the current events in Gaza.

We are enraged and horrified by the unspeakable atrocities that have been committed by the Israeli military on the people of Palestine, and we will not tolerate the complicity of our own institutions of education in this violence.

We recognise that, as students, the university is a place for us to express ourselves as a community to the rest of the world. We call on all students to take action in solidarity with the plight of the Gazans and ensure that their university promotes human value over economic values.”


The SOAS occupation is now over after declaring a substantial victory, winning 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 by the student union opposes all military presence on campus. It stands for the next five years.

The occupying students also had exclusive use of the space for the remainder of the week.

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 where no repercussions for the students involved in the occupation of the gallery.

London School of Economics

Bellow is a video made by our friend Itch from the King Blues about the LSE occupation.

→ 5 CommentsThis entry belongs to the following categories: News · notes of resistance

5 responses so far

  • Tom Fiction posted:
    Jan 22, 2009 at 2:34 pm. Comment #1

    More news!
    Over 80 Oxford University students have occupied the historic Bodleian building to demand that the university releases a statement condemning the attack on Gaza and cancel the lecture series at Balliol College inaugurated by Israeli war criminal Shimon Peres.

  • Tom Fiction posted:
    Jan 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm. Comment #2

    There are also early reports of occupations at Nottingham, Manchester Met, Newcastle and Leeds universities.

  • Moaner posted:
    Jan 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm. Comment #3

    Not exactly May 1968 is it. Doesn’t seem to be much revolutionary sprit behind these occupations (as good as thy are) compared some stuff from recent times: France, Greece, Germany and of course, Italy.
    I hope they last but it would be great to hear a critique of the University itself beginning to come from the occupations. Cambridge? Oxford? Still pretty much the background to have if you’re going anyway careerwise. What about some time spent discussing the recession and crisis and the economic and social effects it having on people with less than two beans to rub together. Gaza? Crisis? It’s all the same capitalist dynamic.
    Here’s to all in occupation anyway. ‘One more push if we are to be revolutionaries’.

  • Thomas Day posted:
    Jan 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm. Comment #4

    Last hours = great site.
    Itch, cheers for a great little clip, inspiring for a Londoner to see from all the way d’aan under in Brisbane, AUS…..we’ve just had national protests over the past weekend at the insult that is Australia day; the middle classes paint their faces with an empire’s flag while Indigenous people in this country are left to live in third world conditions…..

    In relation to GAZA there’s been huge protests of solidarity here, especially in PErth where I was over New Years, with over 500 people attending a rally in the city center in early Jan….it’s great to see students actually taking action in support of their brothers and sisters in the Palestine…..may it spread further! power to ya.

    peace. T.

  • Tom Fiction posted:
    Jan 27, 2009 at 2:43 pm. Comment #5

    Agreed however I think we should be noting the diverse backgrounds (though class may not be fairly represented) from which these occupations come. I have spoken to students who’s ideology is anti-authoritarian/anarchist and I think it is great that they have helped introduce things like consensus decision making etc to the occupations. It is the start towards radicalising a generally apathetic generation.