Blog (finally) Updated

This blog has been a bit neglected over the past few months, but with SASS now pulling ourselves together with regular meetings, plans to run regular events and a whole bunch of new members, it’s about time we had a decent bit of the web to call our own.

So now you can see what we’re planning over on the Events page, where can even export our listings to your own calendar (technology, eh?) see our posters and flyers on the Resources page to give you some idea what we do and to give some inspiration, and view our Lefty Bullsh*t Buster to help you decode all that lefty jargon that gets chucked around. You can even send us recommendations for terms to add, or just say hi.

Watch this space – there’s more to come comrades!


Senate House Occupied!

senateSenate House, the management and admin centre of the University of London (which you may know was effectively made a no-go area for protestors earlier this year in response to workers demanding decent conditions) has been occupied by around 70 students from various UoL campuses including Kings College, UCL, Goldsmiths, UoA and SOAS (with SASS members in their numbers of course!).

This occupation is in support of the workers who are fighting for better employment conditions/pay and against the sell off of student debt – the same management who squeeze a huge profit out of our education also refuse to treat staff with dignity. Together, we fight them with whatever tactics we can!

Demands from the occupation will follow soon.


The demands of the University of London Occupation are:

1. That all outsourced workers at the university are awarded a pension, and have improved sick pay and holiday pay so that it is in line with that of in house staff. The University of London should recognise the IWGB as the representative union of their outsourced workers.

2. That the University of London Union (ULU) remains in student hands – democratically run by students – and has its block grant returned.

3. That the Garden Halls – Hughes Parry hall, Commonwealth hall, and Canterbury hall are not outsourced, and that there are no job losses there. UoL halls should have their prices reduced to less than the annual undergraduate maintenance loan (currently £4988/annum).

4. That the University of London, makes a public statement opposing the privatisation of student loans, and Adrian Smith – the Vice-Chancellor of the university of London – should sign up to the Council in Defence of British Universities and the Campaign for the Public University.

5. That the University of London write to the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) to ask that they concede to the demands of striking HE workers in Unite, Unison and UCU for fair pay.

6. That the pay ratio between the lowest paid and the highest paid staff in the university should be reduced to a maximum of 10:1.

7. That financial statements of the University’s academic departments and non-academic services should be published so that they can be scrutinised so that the University’s decisions can be properly held to account by the community. In addition, that the university produces a publicly available Ethical Investment and Procurement Policy which is reported on annually with plenty of opportunity of engagement with staff, students and the wider community.

8. That students and staff are allowed free access in and out the occupation and senate house – with the exception of senior management.

9. That the university refuses to admit the Police into Senate House and refuses to collaborate with any requests by the police for information regarding this action.

10: That there are no disciplinary actions undertaken by the university against any student or staff member participating in this action.

See here for the full statement!

Solidarity with Defend Education Birmingham – call for national mobilisation

The Autonomous Student Network is an effort to (re)build a network of grassroots based anti-authoritarian student groups across the UK. Since SASS is a part of this network, we’re publishing the ASN statement in Solidarity with Defend Education Birmingham. Spread the word and let’s keep the pressure up!

On November 23rd, Defend Education Birmingham released a statement saying that Birmingham University have started the process of applying for a 12-month injunction banning occupations on campus. Furthermore, the university management is targeting two individual students, threatening them with the legal costs of this injunction, which may exceed £10,000.


This is the latest in a recent string of attacks on students fighting for democratic control of their institutions and for better conditions of University workers. It comes on the back of the violent arrest of a student for chalking, the deployment of police armed with tasers on a London campus, the violent eviction of the Sussex occupation in April and the pre-emptive detainment and body searching of students in Edinburgh prior to Princess Anne’s visit to their campus. At an alarming rate, university managements and security services are increasing their co-operation with the police in efforts to repress any student action capable of disrupting the business agenda of universities. This environment is incompatible with independent thought – that which is supposedly valued above all else in education. It is a threat to all students, university workers and by extension to a society that ought to benefit from institutions of learning.


In response to this, the Autonomous Student Network (ASN) is issuing a warning to Birmingham University: If you proceed with this injunction and the victimisation of the two individual students, the ASN will mobilise a national demonstration on the Birmingham campus. We call on the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, the Revolutionary Socialist/ISN group, the Student Assembly Against Austerity and all other groups and individuals who value democratic education to sign up to this warning and to commit to mobilising the demonstration if Birmingham University does not back down in its attacks.


When Occupy Sussex called a national demonstration in March, up to 3000 students from across the UK descended on their campus. This was done without the help of the NUS. Anyone who remembers the demonstration will recall the level of militancy and the threat that this posed to Sussex University’s management. If the NUS were a real union controlled by students and run in the interests of students, then this is exactly the type of response to University attacks that we would expect. With the absence of any meaningful NUS activity, we must take matters into our own hands and co-ordinate our defence ourselves. The only way to ensure our security as students is to make repression costly for our oppressors. Its time to back up our words with action.


Solidarity with the Birmingham Occupation.


-The Autonomous Student Network