Occupation at Chelsea College of Arts: CCW Rethink the Restructure!

By Marianne Murray, a student campaigner from University of the Arts London (UAL)

UAL CCW occupationOn Wednesday 24th May 2017, a meeting of students was held at Chelsea College of Arts to discuss a plan of action to oppose a ‘restructure’ of UAL colleges Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon (CCW). The planned restructure was first brought to our attention in a video sent out to students by Pro-Vice Chancellor David Crow less than two weeks ago outlining his ‘vision’ for the three colleges: most worryingly he stated that my college, Chelsea, will be about ‘international markets’. The video gives a glossy, corporate insight in to the plans to change the universities without student or staff knowledge or input. 8 Fine Art research staff have been told they’re at risk of redundancy, and university management have been emailing all staff offering ‘voluntary redundancies’. This has created an atmosphere of fear amongst staff, who are scared to speak against the changes for fear of losing their jobs. Many of these staff are on rolling contracts, effectively zero-hours contracts, with little job security. Still more staff have been left in the dark about the changes. Much of the information we have about the ‘restructure’ is from a document leaked to the Student Union by a staff member in the UCU.

During the student meeting we discussed the likelihood of huge cuts to workshops, courses and staff – with some specialist courses possibly being scrapped altogether. For these reasons, we decided to occupy a space at Chelsea. 10 people from across CCW, the Arts Students Union, UAL and other students acting in solidarity secured the space and occupied overnight. The following day we were met with increasing hostility and aggression by security staff, who would not allow fellow students to pass us food. Security physically blocked students from entering the occupation, grabbing one student. We were unable to exit the room to use facilities and re-enter the occupation, as more and more security staff were brought in and a metal barrier was placed around the door. Despite being unable to let more people in to occupy, we received huge support from those outside – including anonymous messages of support from workers at UAL and banner drops orchestrated by fellow students. Due to the difficult conditions of the occupation, we decided to end 24 hours after we started with a statement, after speaking to management and securing a 2-week extension to the decision to cut any jobs. We will continue to take direct action against these cuts as well as negotiating to save jobs and facilities for all future students and staff.

ccw rethink the restructure (small)

LSE Protest Against Lib Dem Lies – first images

SUARTS Can’t Cut This!

University of the Arts London Student Union is putting some funk in the fight against cuts with this amazing video presenting their newest campaign “Can’t Cut This!”

Watch this space for more!

Left-wing sabbatical officers speak!

These interviews originally appeared at www.workersliberty.org

[Read more…]

University of Arts London UCU to strike

Staff at University of Arts London will be striking on Thursday 27 May, after two-thirds of UCU members voted in favour of strike action. UAL management has refused to back down from the threat of redundancies and course closures, leaving the union with no choice but to strike.

A rally is planned at 3pm outside Central Saint Martins and the Cochrane Theatre on the corner of Southampton Row and Theobald’s Road.

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts fully supports direct action taken by students and workers against job and course cuts, be it strikes, action short of a strike, or occupations.

Former Head of PR at London College of Communication speaks

Paul Simpson

Paul Simpson, former course director for the BA(Hons) Public Relations course at the London College of Communication, resigned December last year from what he called his “dream job”, under pressure from the college’s administration.

Here is a short version of Paul’s account on the massacre occuring at LCC (University of the Arts London).

To read the full article click HERE.


Set the record straight

London College of Communication has serious issues that many feel it needs to address. I am not going to use this blog entry to go through those arguments in detail, but do feel it is fair that students applying to ‘LCC’ know that I am no longer employed there, and that students at the university have major issues about the institution. [Read more…]

An LCC Student on the campaign against cuts

Edit__5-medium

A student from the London College of Communications. For updates on their campaign check out lccoppose.wordpress.com

Just like those obnoxious insurance ads all over town, I am trying to find a way of making the story of Oppose LCC Course Redundancies entertaining, but I can’t. So, instead, I will try to make it simple.

Oppose started when a small group of students at the London College of Communication (one out of the six colleges that form the University of the Arts London) found out through the grapevine late last year, that their courses were about to be closed for good.

[Read more…]