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SOAS and Sheffield occupied by students in solidarity with striking academics

  • @Tom_Mendelsohn

Activist students occupied buildings at their universities in London and Sheffield last night, ahead of today's nationwide academic strikes.

They join student campaigners in Sussex, who also occupied a building on campus yesterday afternoon.

In a statement, the Soas Strike group said that it was concerned about "the working conditions of our itinerant academic and support staff", who like the rest of striking academic staff across the country, have taken a 13 per cent pay cut in real terms over the last five years.

"This especially affects SOAS staff considering that the expense of living in London has risen sharply," the group said.

"There also remains a 12 per cent pay gap between male and female academic staff."

Meanwhile, Sheffield Autonomous Students occupied the Richard Roberts Building at the University of Sheffield.

They said: "We have done this as part of a nationwide action, co-ordinated with other anarchist student groups through the Autonomist Student Network.

"This action is to help to maximise the effectiveness of the strike by preventing strike breaking in the Richard Roberts Building. We are done making demands on a university management that ignores its students and staff, and serves the interest of capital whilst it poisons education."