Goldsmiths students are staging an occupation of Deptford Town Hall in Lewisham in protest against perceived mismanagement of the university’s departments.
The demonstration hopes to make the Goldsmiths-owned building a cultural hub, with free lectures and classes taking place, in solidarity with the Free University of London movement.
Citing recent changes to Goldsmiths’ educational model, lack of organisation, and the proposed expansion of the Goldsmiths student body as reasons for the occupation, the students plan to stage an overnight occupation, in solidarity with other national student occupy movements.
Luke Gregory Jones, a protester and Goldsmiths student, cited his personal experience with his department as his motive to occupy Deptford Town Hall.
“My issues with my course, particularly the politics department, stemmed initially from the poor organisational and functional practices,” he explained.
“This involved adding and removing module choices for third year students without good enough communication or warning”.
Goldsmiths, which has often been associated with radical politics, is being criticised by the protesters about its lack of support for disabled students, and its cutting of counselling services.
Alongside issues specific to Goldsmiths, the occupy movement is hoping to spark and support student action elsewhere.
“We’re hoping to begin a movement,” said Declan Hier Harron, a protester and student, who is displeased with the rampant disorganisation of Goldsmiths counselling services.
“Goldsmiths currently have 100 people on the counselling waiting list, and they plan to expand the student body to be even larger.”
The protesters hope to stay in the Town Hall overnight, but it remains to be seen whether they will be allowed to do so.