These are the views of but one occupier…
-An emergency general meeting of the SOAS student union voted for occupation in defence of education, against cuts and fee increases.
-On Monday morning students occupied the Brunei Suite. The space remains open and as inclusive as possible- the occupation is what we as a student body make it.
-The occupation of this space in the school, rather than a place outside the university, is productive for at least the following reasons:
Putting pressure on the SOAS management to use their influence to prevent cuts and fee increases. The directorate must move beyond paltry messages of concern. Cuts are not a fait accomplis. Marketisation of education can be avoided.
Occupation is also a symbolic political act that acts as a focal point for the local and national movement, forcing people to engage with the issues both inside and outside the occupied space.
The Brunei Suite room is contracted out to the large company Sodexo, which charges up to £600 for the hire of the suite for one day. Student lectures are not held in this room. Taking back this space highlights the contradictions of a commodified university experience, which requires the search for profit at the expense of teaching and learning.
This occupation should be seen as but one strategy interacting with a mass of others- a staging point along the journey to maximise our potential.
This occupation is not designed to split the student movement, or be highjacked by a minorty. The more people who are prepared to engage with the process to any degree will strengthen the cause. Decisions are made in the most democratic way possible, and there is open discussion on all issues.
-The space can be used for meetings, debates about the cuts and strategies, events not directly related to the struggle, and for general hanging out purposes. Anything really.
-This is a crucial moment for the direction that our society is moving in. Resistance starts at home. Resignation must be put aside, anger must be transformed into concerted action. This is a call for unity and purpose with students and staff together beating a new path forwards. Join!