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Anti-racism campaigners succeed at Goldsmiths

AGREEMENT: Goldsmiths

SINCE MARCH campaigners from Goldsmiths University have taken over deptford town hall demanding a series of anti racist measures to be taken within the institution.

On Monday (Jul 29), acting warden, Professor Elisabeth Hill released an open letter to both students and staff. She wrote:

“While [university management] cannot condone some of their means of protest, they have provided us with a wake-up call to take action by sharing their experience and insight.”

Professor Hill said both sides had agreed to make compromises and that the university would introduce mandatory “race awareness” training for staff and review its anti-discrimination and harassment procedures, among other measures.

The campaigners began their 137 day occupation of Deptford Town Hall after a candidate in the Students’ Union elections, had her posters and banners ripped apart, with racist graffiti mocking her accent smeared across them.

The campaigners stood in solidarity for students of colour on campus who face racism, especially anti-blackness, on a daily basis in the form of microaggressions, insensitive lecturers and seminar leaders, and lack of anti-racist action from senior management.

After a long standing battle between the university and the campaigners, the institution was granted legal possession order over the building by a judge at the high court on the same day the parties eventually reached an agreement.

Local Labour MP, Vicky Foxtrot supported the campaigners actions and told the university that the “legitimate concerns of the students need to be heard in a dignified and transparent way”.

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