Statement condemning LSBU’s suppression of Defend LSBU! Defend our Education! on campus

On Wednesday 17th November, London South Bank University (LSBU) security shut down a meeting called by Defend LSBU! Defend our Education! to organise our response to repeated attacks on our education. Security staff informed us that we are no longer allowed to “organise anti-cuts campaigns on campus”. Students who tried to remain were informed that if they did not leave they would be removed by force.

To be denied the right to discuss and debate issues that affect students is a direct attack on our freedom of speech.

Defend LSBU! Defend our Education! is a legitimate, democratic group opposing the cuts at both LSBU and nationally. Like other anti-cuts groups in universities and communities across the country we have a right to unite the people opposing the cuts by the Coalition Government. We condemn the actions of London South Bank University’s management in attempting to stifle and suppress a democratic movement because they feel it has “potential to create disruption”.

The recently proposed rise in tuition fees will force many people who have the potential and the right to broaden their horizons into crippling debt or, worse, prevent them from starting university altogether. Beyond higher education cuts, our welfare state and public sector will be smashed by these Coalition cuts forcing us to pay for a crisis we did not cause.

LSBU is openly becoming a business facing university, as demonstrated by the reasons given by management for shutting down the language centre. This has denied an invaluable chance for many students to learn a second language. This measure, combined with cutting emergency loans for students, is in clear opposition to the University’s corporate slogan “students first”.

Defend LSBU! Defend our Education! will stand against any undemocratic action by LSBU. We are calling on all students, anti cuts groups, unions and lecturers around the country to sign this statement and oppose the actions of LSBU management in banning the campaign from campus.

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3 Responses to Statement condemning LSBU’s suppression of Defend LSBU! Defend our Education! on campus

  1. Doug says:

    This is a pretty unpleasant and divisive thing to do, I would try contacting the campus unions about getting support to defend your right to assemble and organise. It seems counter productive to stop you doing it as it creates you an ideal opportunity to create publicity and gain more supporters – not to mention personalise the campaign and strengthen your resolve. Hang in there, keep it moving, hope you have a good day of action on Wednesday.

  2. Mono_S. says:

    I had been hoping to attend this meeting but had to pull out at the last minute, am not too happy to hear it was stopped. To have a legitimate platform for discussion denied due to the “potential to create disruption” is ridiculous, if anything LSBU should be supporting both debate and education on these issues, what with them affecting the students, staff and the University alike.

    I hope there are plans to move the discussion elsewhere, if not to straight out occupy one of the perpetually empty top floor London Road rooms which I’ve never even seen used in my three years of study, as a (no doubt useless) gesture.

  3. Maggie says:

    I want to offer solidarity to you from all at Sussex University involved in campaigning to save higher education, it was an outrageous thing of the management to do but don’t lose hope!

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