Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action are approaching a month of their Deptford Town Hall occupation. Following a lack of action taken by the university’s senior management when Education Officer candidate Hamna Imran had posters defaced with racist remarks, the group peacefully occupied the historic building and demanded for change at Goldsmiths University. So far, the response from the University has quite frankly been embarrassing. Smiths Magazine spoke to Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action about some of the best ways for students to show their solidarity with the occupation and the easiest ways to help support the campaign.
Water and non-perishable foods such as cereal, crisps, peanut butter, dried fruit and nuts is advised as access to cooking facilities is limited. Occupiers enforce a strict no alcohol (and drugs) policy, so hold off on the champagne until the demands are met. Some occupiers have stayed overnight at the Town Hall for over 10 days and so extra sleeping equipment is also in need (as are occupiers in general).
By following the group’s various social media outlets and sharing their story/updates onto your own profile, you can spread awareness about the occupation to a far larger demographic than you might think. Filling out the online petition and sharing the manifesto is also important to help build the group’s support in numbers. #GoldOccupy #MyRacistCampus
Visit the space
People are encouraged to visit Deptford Town Hall (New Cross Road, SE14 6AF) to familiarise themselves with the living conditions of the occupiers and learn more about the campaign in person. The building is an open space, free to enter for all students until 7pm each night, with various events, workshops and teach-outs ongoing during the occupation. Also, occupiers have now created an alternative library space to study in, which, if anything, also serves as a more peaceful place to work than the often anxiety-inducing frantic environment of the library.
Word of mouth
Institutionalised racism in higher education is an issue which we must not stop talking about. By discussing the hardships felt by BAME students in university environments, and by declaring your solidarity with the campaign vocally, you are giving strength to the plights of those currently occupying. Ask your friends if they are aware of the occupation and help to inspire more people to face up to the university for failing to administer an anti-racist university.
Email: [email protected]
Words, Edward Green – @nedgreen
Images, Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action