Anti-racism campaigners score victory at Goldsmiths occupation

The occupation of Deptford Town Hall has ended after anti-racism campaigners say their demands have been met by university management.  

The 137-day protest was concluded over the weekend after talks with Goldsmiths. Despite a high court order being won by the university against the occupation, an agreement was reached. 

The occupation was started on March 12 by Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA) over a perceived lack of action over racist abuse on campus. 

Key demands, which Goldsmiths management have formally committed to, include mandatory anti-racism training for all staff, the reinstatement of two scholarships for Palestinian students and a plan for bringing the support staff such as security and receptionist in house. 

“We want to inspire a new generation to never back down in the fight for our collective liberation.”

GARA

In a bid to tackle gentrification in the area, access to the Town Hall for local residents will also be granted. 

In a statement following the agreement, GARA said: “We hope that this Black, Minority Ethnic, Muslim, LGBTQ and disabled student-led occupation inspires a new generation of anti-racist activists to build strength collectively and never back down in the fight for our collective liberation.

“We want to thank all our supporters for successfully ramping up the pressure on Goldsmiths to sign the contract, committing them to an unprecedented series of actions.”

A spokesperson for Goldsmiths said: “We are pleased that we can now ensure the building’s vital teaching space is ready for the start of the academic year in September.

“We have listened to the issues raised by the protesters and committed to a comprehensive action plan addressing issues of racial justice and will be working hard to improve the experiences of our BME students and staff.”


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