A statement by Warwick Anti-Sexism Society Solidarity with Occupy LSE – Free University of London! A group of activists have occupied the Vera Anstey Suite, the central meeting room of LSE administration, demanding a change to the current university system: a move away from neoliberal, market-driven education where a degree is a commodity to a liberated and open space where knowledge has no price tag.
Warwick Anti-Sexism Society Support LSE Occupation
Their demands include that LSE adopt a zero tolerance to sexual harassment policy, that LSE does not implement the Counter Terrorism Bill that criminalises dissent, particularly targeting Muslim students and staff, divestment from the fossil fuel industry and from companies that make a profit from Israel’s state occupation of the Palestine. See the full list on their page. As said in their statement, “Institutional sexism and racism, as well as conditions of work for staff and lecturers, becomes a distraction for an institution geared to profit.” This is something we’ve undoubtedly seen at Warwick and beyond. Universities are increasingly not on our side, providing welfare of wildly varying quality, having an unnecessary police presence on campus, caring little for paying a living wage (and salary differences for jobs that simply mirror the heteronormative, gendered divisions of labour that are seen in the “traditional home”) and keeping curricula as Eurocentric and male-dominated as possible. The current system is forcing us into massive amounts of debt, for institutions which make minorities feel unsafe, for institutions that do not count as safe spaces, for institutions that overly police us, for institutions where we do not feel comfortable to report cases of harassment, and for institutions which care little for the very Earth we live on and continue to support the fossil fuel industry. It’s wonderful that so many student groups, here at Warwick, in the UK and beyond, see this and are taking action. In their current occupation, which is planned to last until Thursday evening, the LSE group will be providing workshops, general meetings and discussions in a liberated safe space, free of sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia. Timetables are available on their page. Once again – solidarity with all at the Vera Anstey Suite, LSE! x