Statement of solidarity with Goldsmith’s Anti-Racist Action
Since the 12th March Students at Goldsmiths, University of London have been occupying Deptford Town Hall as a part of Goldsmith’s Anti-Racist Action. This occupation, taking place in a University management building which glorifies symbols of slavery, began following racist attack on a Students’ Union election candidate. The candidate had their posters and banners ripped apart with racist graffiti mocking their accent.
The occupation protests the lack of anti-racist action from senior management, who failed to respond appropriately to this incident. The occupation additionally stands in solidarity with students of colour who face institutional racism through their university and with the campaign to bring security and reception staff, the majority of whom are Black, Asian and Latinx people of colour, in-house.
The occupation demands are available on their manifesto and include: Student’s freedom to enter and exit the occupation (which has been previously restricted), all outsourced workers to be brought in-house, and an institution-wide strategic plan on how the university plans to tackle racism at Goldsmiths.
Goldsmith’s inadequate approach to racist incidents was highlighted by Sara Bafo, the first Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Rep for the Anthropology department, and the first ever department level BAME rep at Goldsmiths. Sara Bafo resigned due to white staff’s repeated failure to recognise and respond to racism, as outlined in their resignation statement.
Birkbeck Students’ Union stands in solidarity with the occupiers of Deptford Town Hall and Sara Bafo. Racism is rife within Universities and the legacy of colonialism and oppression still stands today. This gravely impacts the mental health and wellbeing of our students, and makes University a hostile environment to exit in. Students nationally should oppose racism in all its forms.
Solidarity with Goldsmith’s Anti-Racist Action, and the ongoing occupation.
Birkbeck Executive Committee
Thursday 2nd of May 2019