STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR STUDENT OCCUPANTS OF THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) wishes to extend solidarity to the students who have been occupying the Van Anstey Suite of the London School of Economics.
A list of their demands includes the abolition of tuition fees, an end to the use of zero-hours contracts in the college and a severing of ties with organisations who are involved in military occupations. More broadly, the occupation represents a rejection of the current role of higher education in serving the interests of a few rather than the whole of society and is the latest display of a real desire among students and staff worldwide to reclaim their campuses.
The Irish student experience has changed significantly during times of austerity.
Student supports have been drastically cut over the last decade and student fees have risen excessively. Students in Ireland pay the second highest fees in Europe.
The USI wishes to convey its support for the direct action taken in LSE, following on from the recent occupation of the New University in Amsterdam and similar activities in Warwick, Birmingham, Sheffield and Oxford. It is resoundingly clear that students and staff in higher education right across the continent now have a central role to play in saving a public good and no less so here in Ireland.