Upcoming Events in the Occupied Brunei Suite! Monday 6th December

As we enter our third week of occupation of the SOAS Brunei Suite, we are happy to announce our exciting program of events for Monday 6th! Please come along and get involved!

12pm: Professor Paul Gilroy (LSE) speaks in the Occupied Brunei Suite!

2pm: Film showing: ‘A History of Student Revolt’ – A documentary by John Rees : charting the political history of student movements, from volunteer strikebreakers in the 1920s to their role as a catalyst for mass movements of radical social change

2.30pm: speaker TBC, “From May ’68 to Millbank Tower: a discussion of the history of the
student revolt and the current student movement”

3.30pm: The Edukators 2.0 – A feature film based in Austria that documents over a year of occupations and protests in the education movement

5pm: open planning meeting for Wednesday’s National Day of Action against fees and cuts on the eve of the Parliamentary vote. come and decide what will SOAS do!
facebook event: www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=182354165108330

8pm onwards : an Italian Evening at the SOAS Occupation! Featuring:

  • play-reading of Italian dramatist Dario Fo’s works
  • sing-around of Italian songs of struggle
  • showing of one of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s short movies
  • discussion of ideas emerging from the Italian Movement – Antonio Negri, the multitude, immaterial labour and cognitive capitalism
  • …and much more!

Bring panettone, pizza, pasta, mandolinos, wine, friends and lovers. All welcome!!

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Students and London Underground Workers: Statement of Mutual Solidarity

We the undersigned representatives of student campaigners and London Underground workers wish to publicly state our support for each others’ current struggles against funding cuts, tuition fees and Tube staffing cuts.

We are fighting to defend two essential public services – education and transport – which we believe should be publicly-provided, fully funded and accessible to all. Both services face intense attack under a government hellbent on vicious public sector cuts.

Students, together with other public transport users, believe that Tube stations should have enough staff for us to travel easily and safely around the capital. London Underground workers support the principle of access for all to further and higher education, and know that many working-class people – including our own kids – will be unable to attend university or college if to do so means taking on a massive debt.

London Underground workers have now taken four days of strike action against the loss of 800 jobs, mainly on stations, as well as other industrial action. Students have repeatedly protested against cuts and fees, walking out of schools and colleges, demonstrating in huge numbers, and occupying universities. Both groups know that if we do not defeat this round of attacks, there will be more to come.

As we fight these cuts, we take inspiration from knowing we are not the only ones taking action. We encourage students and Underground workers to send each other messages of support, and to visit and support each others’ pickets and protests.

In particular, we encourage everyone to attend:
– protest against cuts and fees, Thursday 9 December (the day of the vote in Parliament), assemble 10:00 at ULU, Malet Street – rally at 15:00, Victoria Embankment
– protest against London Underground job cuts, Wednesday 15 December, 09:30, City Hall (as Mayor’s Question Time takes place)


  • Janine Booth, Secretary, RMT London Transport Regional Council
  • Steve Hedley, RMT London Transport Regional Organiser
  • Simon Hardy, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
  • Joana Pinto, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
  • Manuel Cortes, Assistant General Secretary, TSSA *
  • Ed Maltby, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
  • Vaughan Thomas, President, RMT London Transport Regional Council
  • Adrian Rowe, Chairperson, RMT National Young Members’ Committee
  • Brian Munro, Secretary, RMT Bakerloo branch
  • Bob Sutton, Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts
  • Malcolm Taylor, RMT Staff Side Secretary, London Underground Stations and Revenue Council
  • Owen Jones, Labour Representation Committee / UCL Occupation
  • Brian Whitehead, Relief Regional Organiser, RMT
  • Mac McKenna, RMT rep, London Underground Stations & Revenue Council
  • Sean Rillo Raczka, Chair, Birkbeck Students’ Union; NUS NEC Mature Students’ Rep
  • Stephen Read, RMT health and safety representative, Bank stations group
  • Gary Lazell, RMT rep, East Ham stations group
  • Clare Reilly, RMT rep, East Ham stations group
  • Adrian Finney, Chairperson, RMT Stratford no.1 branch

* personal capacity


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SOAS management threatens staff with disciplinary action if they enter occupation

This threatening email was sent just sent around to all staff at SOAS. Apparently the management sees any staff failing to comply with this order to not enter the occupied space as ‘a serious issue’ and will take ‘appropriate action’.

The School recognises that many staff support the wider aims of the students’ campaign, and it shares concerns about current developments in higher education policy. It also recognises that staff and students have a right to legitimate protest. However, we would remind staff that the occupied space in the Brunei Suite is causing disruption to the activities of the School and is subject to a court order. People entering the occupied space are putting themselves at risk of being in contempt of court.

We are also increasingly concerned about Health and Safety risks arising from the 24-hour use of the building and the large numbers of people going in and out of the space, many of whom are not from the SOAS community.

Consequently we ask that staff do not enter the occupied space in the Brunei Suite. We hope you will understand the reasons why we need your urgent and immediate co-operation with this request.  If staff fail to co-operate then the School would regard this as a serious matter and would have to consider appropriate action.

Discussions are ongoing between the School and students to bring the occupation to a conclusion.

Peter Mitchell
Human Resources Director

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Paul Gilroy Speaks on Monday

We are pleased to announce that Professor Paul Gilroy will be speaking at the occupied Brunei Suite This Monday 6th December at 12 Midday. Not something you will want to miss we are sure.

Professor Gilroy (LSE) is known as a path-breaking scholar and historian of the music of the Black Atlantic diaspora, as a commentator on the politics of race, nation and racism in the UK, and as an archaeologist of the literary and cultural lives of blacks in the western hemisphere. His recent work focuses on relationships between multiculturalism, hierarchy, difference and the elaboration of non-racial democracy.

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Direct Action Workshop

Wanna avoid police kettles?? Tired of spending 8 hours in the cold? Want to know your rights inside an occupation?

Come to SOAS occupation,
Brunei Gallery
Thornhaught St
Russel Sq

Decemeber 3rd

for direct action training!

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Latest statement from the occupation

Dear students,

As set out in our last email, at lunchtime on Wednesday we held a mass assembly for staff and students, which was extremely well-attended. The meeting decided unanimously that Paul Webley is yet to release a sufficiently strong statement opposing HE cuts and tuition fee increases, and that the occupation will therefore continue.

The basis for the decision was the limitations of the statement Webley released with Tim Miller on Monday – namely, that it made no mention of EMA, and that it failed to explicitly oppose lifting the cap on tuition fees or general cuts to higher education. However, during the discussion repeated reference was also made to the national context and SOAS’s arguable leadership role within it. Those present felt that the SOAS occupation must avoid taking any step that risks undermining the strength of the national student movement, and that leaving on the basis of the statement as it currently stands would risk doing so.

Management were informed of the decision in a pre-arranged meeting later that afternoon. They were not yet in a position to give any indication of their next steps.

Morale in the occupation is high. In the last few days we have had visits from Ken Livingstone, Tariq Ali, and Samir Amin and messages of solidarity continue to pour in. Look out for further events in the next few days. We encourage you to come and join us, whether for the night or just to pop in and say hello.

SOAS Occupiers

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CyberAction against the Conservatives and Lib Dem

After 11 days of occupation we decided this morning to have a bit of fun on the expense of the ConDem coalition social media mouthpieces. This is the result.

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