Occupy LSE Have Been Evicted After 6 Weeks of Protest
For six weeks, the Vera Antsey room at the London School of Economics was occupied by an ever growing number of students and supporters protesting for a fairer occupation. Following a series of warnings and letters from the university administration, Occupy LSE saw its end last night at 1am.
In a public statement released through their Facebook page, Occupy LSE said they left the occupied room after a 24 hour siege which compromised the well-being of the occupiers.
In a similar announcement, the LSE official Facebook page and website also released statements.
According to the university, the continuous flow of protesters and supporters who were not LSE students jeopardised the study environment, especially at a time of exams and coursework deadlines.
The full statement read:
“The School has made a number of offers in good faith where it recognises reasonable and legitimate concerns, especially those shared by our wider student body.
The protesters have made other demands that are simply unrealistic. Either they delegitimise existing legal, democratic and accountable frameworks, or they fall outside of the School’s own jurisdiction to make good on the changes sought.
The School remains disappointed and saddened that Occupy LSE has failed to recognise the great lengths taken to accommodate these demands and that it seeks to maintain its occupation indefinitely.
LSE is concerned that the Occupy group shows no sign of wishing to continue its political dialogue with School management while the occupation continues.
At the same time we note the intolerable pressures being placed on our staff by disorderly behaviour, the detrimental effects on the education of other students caused by deliberate disruption to lectures, and the risks to members of the School, including to the occupiers themselves, caused by the deliberate and persistent blocking of fire exits.
We are highly concerned by the appearance of non-LSE students on site including those demanding access to closed School buildings late at night. This goes to the heart of other anxieties we have over demands that LSE facilitates a permanent space for protest on campus including for non-members of the School.”
The movement sparked other occupations across different universities in London, and has received the support of celebrities like Russell Brand, who on Tuesday attended a screening of his documentary ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ and held a Q&A with students.
During the six weeks of the occupation, students involved took part in different debates, workshops and study groups where they discussed potential ways of changing the current education system.
As they leave what was the cradle of London’s student protests in 2015, it is yet to be seen whether the other movements will follow.