Statement to Warden and Secretary on criminalisation of student protest

Today, 54 of our members sent this statement to Warden Patrick Loughrey and Secretary Liz Bromley of Goldsmiths College:

The last week has seen serious repression and violence against students on campuses around the country. This includes bans on protest at the Universities of London, Birmingham and Sussex and arrests of students who have engaged in demonstrations against cuts and in support of better pay and conditions.  This has been accompanied by heavy-handed policing, resulting in the hospitalisation of students on the evening of 5th December in London.

These bans and prosecutions violate the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of association. The use of force against students exercising their democratic rights is unacceptable and sets a dangerous precedent.

We believe that the police should not be used to curtail legitimate protests on campus and that students should not be punished for engaging in campaigns to defend educational provision or to show solidarity with university staff.

As staff at Goldsmiths, we are writing to you to seek reassurance that you support the rights of students to engage in democratic protest and that you oppose acts of violence against students taking part in such protests.

We call on you to publicly oppose the University of London’s injunction on student protests at various University of London sites for the next six months and to make a commitment that you will not:
•       Call for injunctions or possession orders or undertake other legal actions which ban legitimate protest on campus
•       Suspend, prosecute or otherwise victimise students or staff who engage in democratic protest.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Toby Abse, Lecturer, History
Prof. Les Back, Sociology
Edward Bagenal, Lecturer, Design
Prof. Vikki Bell, Sociology
Dr. Josephine Berry-Slater, Lecturer, Centre for Cultural Studies
Michaela Benson, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Prof. Windy Dryden, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Dr. Sarah Farris, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Prof. Natalie Fenton, Joint Head of Department, Media and Communications
Joanna Figiel, Visiting Tutor, Media and Communications
Linda France, Lecturer, Media and Communications
Dr. Marianne Franklin, Media and Communications
Dr. Des Freedman, Media and Communications
Dr. Matthew Fuller, Professor, Centre for Cultural Studies
Graham Gaskell, Chief Executive, Students’ Union
Prof. Bill Gaver, Design
Prof. Rosalyn George, Educational Studies
Dr. Roger Green, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Michael Guggenheim, Principal Investigator, Sociology
Mary Claire Halvorson, Learning Enhancement Unit
Tom Henri, Lecturer, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Dr. Anja Kanngieser, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Amanda Kipling, Senior Tutor, Educational Studies
Prof. Caroline Knowles, Centre for Urban and Community Research, Sociology
Dr. Monika Krause, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Sarah Lambert, Learning Enhancement Unit
Dr. Ben Levitas, Lecturer, Theatre and Performance
David Mabb, Reader, Art
Dr. Vicky Macleroy, Lecturer, Educational Studies
Dr. Isaac Marrero-Guillamon, Lecturer, Anthropology
Miranda McLachlan, Lecturer, Media and Communications
Dr. Mariam Motamedi-Fraser, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Prof. Kate Nash, Sociology
Chloe Nast, Department Coordinator, Sociology
Helen Palmer, Lecturer, English and Comparative Literature
Angela Phillips, Reader, Media and Communications
Claire Reddleman, Centre for Cultural Studies
Alex Rhys-Taylor, Lecturer, Sociology
Dr. Marsha Rosengarten, Sociology
Dr. Evelyn Ruppert, Lecturer, Sociology
Dr. Edgar Schmitz, Senior Lecturer, Fine Art
Benedict Seymour, Lecturer, Art
Dr. Kalbir Shukra, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Dr. Sally Skaife, Lecturer, Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
Prof. Beverly Skeggs, Sociology
Linda Stupart, Graduate Trainee Tutor, Art
Dr. Alberto Toscano, Reader, Sociology
Dr. Anna Traianou, Head of MA Programme, Educational Studies
Dr. Pasi Valiaho, Senior Lecturer, Media and Communications
John Wadsworth, Lecturer, Educational Studies
Leila Whitley, Visiting Tutor, Media and Communications
Nicole Wolf, Lecturer, Visual Cultures
James Woodcock, Student Services
Prof. Joanna Zylinska, Media and Communications

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