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SOAS occupation ends with (partial) success

IMCista | 17.06.2009 18:01 | Education | Migration

The SOAS occupation ended at 12.30pm today, having achieved most of what such an action could have achieved. After several rounds of intense negotiations, the occupiers and the management reached an agreement in which the management agreed to all five demands put forward by the protesters, albeit in a not-very-committing way.

In the signed document reproduced below, the management promises to “review” the immigration raid and “discuss” the possibility of bringing cleaning services in-house and the “health and safety issues” relating to immigration raids on campus. There were, however, two more concrete commitments: first, to write to the Home Office requesting the return of the deported cleaners and granting exceptional leave to remain to those who are still detained or have been forced into hiding; and second, that no action will be taken against those involved in the protest.

Quite surprisingly, the director, Paul Webley, voluntarily added a paragraph to the agreement stating his support, in a personal capacity, for the regularisation of non-documented workers, and another paragraph promising that SOAS will be speaking with other universities about the wider implications of the government’s policy on immigration.



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if they're telling the truth...

17.06.2009 18:07

thats a pretty fucking good result



18.06.2009 23:32

It seems a great result for now!
The agreement of the management to write to the border agency sounds promising. I dream of a big mass media story - SOAS management fights for its cleaners! Like those news where a community defends a local migrant family against deportation. Will it be possible to make SOAS' (enforced) support for cleaners public?

And the review of outsourcing - i guess the struggle about that has not even started. Tons of meetings, discussing very boring financial details, arguing against the whole structure of neoliberal economy with its appetite for flexible workers. Will any representatives of cleaners or and students participate in this review process? Will there be a course on Outsourcing as a postcolonial practice?

Watching the video of the occupation was extremely empowering, political reality TV.

Thanks to all who participated and best wishes for the next weeks.

fingers cross