Monday, 15 June 2009

As hundered gather outside to support the occupation, more messages of support!

All power to your occupation against the racist SOAS management who called in the Immigration cops.

I am shocked by the brutality of the treatment handed out to these workers. To have a life in London one minute and too be thrown out of the country the next. It’s disgusting.

Victory to your occupation. An injury to one, is an injury to all.

Sasha Simic – USDAW Shop Steward



  1. Chris Rossdale - Well done, you're a real inspiration, good luck!




    Great to see people refusing to accept this outrage. Keep in 'til you win.

    Nothing could be clearer than this dispute at showing how all workers have a
    common interest in defending jobs and conditions of all workers.

    Solidarity greetings

    Mike Thompson
    Branch chair
    Leicester Unite 0168M Branch
    (personal capacity)


    Brothers & Sisters,

    Please accept my heartfelt best wishes for you in your current struggle, and I salute your courage. Experience informs all workers around the world that if we let employers dictate the conditions of our lives by sacking or persecuting us then the only really successful fight back will come about if we the workers stand together and say NO to sackings or redundancies. Your struggle is another model for others to draw strength from and the supporters you have in your fight are acting as true trade unionists should do. I have passed the details of your fight to the Justice for Cleaners Branch Committee of UNITE and I have asked them to support your struggle also.

    It will be hard but as workers we know what happens to us and our families when we do nothing – so keep the occupation going and if I might suggest when you contact potential supporters make sure you explain what it is you need and ask them to deliver, money, placards, people, letters of support or whatever.

    All the best

    Andy Gilchrist



    Just a short message sending my support for the cause and for the cleaners, while I do not agree in the principle of occupations both individualy and as a labour student. I do support the cause which is behind the occupation and the rights of the indivudals involved.

    In solidarity with the cause.

    Tara Hewitt

    Tara Elizabeth Hewitt
    NUS LGBT Committee Trans Rep (elect)
    NUS LGBT National Campaigner of the year
    Liverpool Guild of Students LGBT Officer (Women's Place)
    Liverpool LGBT Nework Steering Committee Trans Representative
    Gay Wirral Steering Committee Student Representative
    Labour Student


    We're doing all we can to raise support here in Scarborough, we are all there in spirit, you have our wholehearted support!
    KEEP IT UP!!!!!!
    Tessa Hughes,
    Scarborough Sixth Form


    It's wonderful to see activism against such great injustice.

    You have the full support of us students at Scarborough Sixth Form College in Scarborough, North Yorkshire and we hope that all your effort will make a difference, and we are working on informing as many people as possible about the blog, Facebook group and what is going on.

    Please keep up the good work and let us know of any more ways in which we can be of help :)

    Kirsten Hobson


  2. Dear Comrades,

    UCU at the College of North East London utterly condemn the actions of SOAS and ISS management in using the immigration authorities as a weapon to attack cleaning staff after the cleaners’ successful campaign for the London Living Wage. We believe that cleaning staff are integral to the workforce of any institution and as such should be treated with the same respect and dignity expected by all. All workers, whatever their nationality or immigration status, should be equal under the law, equally entitled to decent wages and conditions and have the right to live in whatever country they chose.

    We fully support the actions of students and supporters in occupying university buildings today in defence of basic human rights and freedom. An injury to one is an injury to all – long live workers’ solidarity!

    Jenny Sutton, Branch Secretary, UCU College of North East London


    Solidarity with the occupying students. Free the SOAS cleaners. No to deportations, they are welcome here.

    Malcolm Povey
    UCU National Executive Committee


    Comrades -

    I am writing to express my complete solidarity with your action. At my university (Sheffield), our Palestine solidarity occupation was one of the only occupations nationally to include solidarity with university workers in our main platform/demands; we believe that students and university workers share fundamental common interests in the struggle to win democratic control of our education and workplaces. Your action is therefore an extremely positive development in terms of building campaigning unity and solidarity between students and workers.

    It is also particularly inspiring and important at a time when organised racists are in ascendance in British politics; your action takes a stand for the idea that no worker, regardless of their formal immigration status, is "illegal", and for the idea that if capital and commodities are free to travel the globe unrestricted, then the workers who produce them should be similarly free.

    The National Union of Students Trustee Board is a body which I imagine that most of your activists will have as hostile an attitude to as I do; however, if you think there is any way I can use my position on the Board to help your struggle, please let me know.

    In solidarity -

    Daniel Randall,
    Education Not for Sale & NUS Trustee Board (pc)



    Good luck to all of those on the occupation - hopefully this action will
    bring the necessary pressure to bare to stop racist deportations! I hope
    that all 11 demands made to the administration are met, that the
    cleaners are returned safely, and that no further raids take place.

    I will be at the rally at 4.30pm to show solidarity between Living Wage
    campuses - this is a threat to all places of work and we must stand

    In solidarity,

    Aled Dilwyn Fisher
    General Secretary
    LSE Students' Union


    Dear SOAS staff,

    I’m the Branch secretary at Birmingham University UNISON and I’ve just read about how some of you cleaning staff have been deported. It is totally disgusting that anyone in the 21st century in Britain can be treated this way, especially when it appears it’s for being part of a union.

    I want to wish you well in your occupation and campaign, if you let us know who to send letters of protest to ie SOAS management, government departments etc then we will write immediately. If there is anything else we can do please let us know,

    Matthew Raine

    Secretary, Birmingham University UNISON


    Just want to say you've got the support of UNISON members at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. This brave action is a brilliant and courageous act of solidarity with the victimised cleaners and an example for all of us to follow. I wish you good luck in the struggle and I will make sure the occupation and the struggle of Stalin and the other cleaners is raised at UNISON Conference this week.

    Mark Boothroyd - Workers Power
    UNISON Rep
    Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust


  3. This is a deeply disappointing story to hear about SOAS. Best wishes in your campaign to support these individuals and all other vulnerable workers.
    Janet Stewart


    Stop this obscene deportation. What is this society coming to? Best wishes, Jim Leven


    Dear Sisters and Brothers

    Manchester Trades Union Council sends solidarity greetings to you at this key moment in your struggle

    Not only the fight for proper wages and conditions but the fight against victimisation and against racist immigation laws, all these are at the heart of the struggle for justice and dignity at work today. The example you are setting is an inspiration to us all. Please let us know what we can do to help.

    In solidarity

    Geoff Brown
    Manchester TUC


    Dear Comrades

    Many congratulations from the North East Shop Stewards' Network!

    When you have a spare few minutes, please draw up a checklist of do's and don'ts to guide others who might decide to use this tactic!

    In solidarity

    Dave Harker
    NESSN Secretary


    I know it's not much, but I want to add my voice to support your campaign in
    any way I can.

    Bob Brecher
    Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics & Ethics
    UCU member



    I find it abominably ugly when the acting authorities not only fail to maintain accountability to the state they serve, but above all when they refuse to recognise the human, British or otherwise, and turn a blind eye to the persecution of the people who require their support the most by the systems designed to protect them. Having lived within five miles of Yarlswood for ten years and therefore been in a position to watch the insitution make a mockery of human rights time and time again, I absolutely believe that your protest is crucial. I support you entirely and wish you the best of luck.

    Eve Wilson (Student, King's College London)

  4. ---


    Workers Liberty in Leeds are in complete solidarity with you in this fight. Capitalists are using the racist immigration laws to try to stop migrant workers from organising themselves and fighting back against exploitation.

    Your occupation highlights the collusion between bosses and the UK Immigration Service. It also shines a light on the growing struggle of migrant workers to organise for decent pay, conditions and the right to organise.

    In solidarity


    To the occupiers,

    Congrats on what sounds to have been a fantastic bit of direct action. Keep up the good work!



    Dear students, and staff of SOAS,
    Today the University of Bradford Union meet to discuss the deportations of cleaners at the School of African and Oriental Studies, London. We want to send our solidarity greeting to you.
    We were both shocked and appalled to hear last week that the University had been complicit in allowing members of their staff to be intimidated, detained and deported whilst working at SOAS.
    The fact that the University targeted underpaid cleaners many of whom are active in working to fight for better widest is outrageous.
    As students and researches at the University of Bradford we feel that our Universities has a duty to protect all members of its community. The fact that the your school not only refused to protect its staff but was complicit in deporting ill and pregnant staff is outrageous.
    We fully support actions such as the present occupation to fight for the rights for these workers. Students and staff must unite to work together in creating a community that is safe and secure for each other.
    We send our solidarity with those who have been part of the campaign to stop deportations while out thoughts are on those who are being deported and other staff who are being intimidated by these kind of actions. We wish the occupation all the success.
    We want to make it clear to all Universities but particular to SOAS that the behaviour of senior management not acceptable and have called for them in a separate letter to support their staff and the occupation.
    Yours, in solidarity and friendship.
    For and on behalf of the University of Bradford Union
    Lloyd Russell-Moyle
    Union Secretary – Treasurer 2007-09
    Vice President (Societies) 2009-10
    (Passed at the Executive meeting 15th June 2009)