Statement on Senate House occupation and police violence –

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By davideast – 05/12/2013

Dear all,

Yesterday evening, large numbers of police violently ejected protesters from Senate House, making 8 arrests, including 2 SOAS students. The protesters’ demands included meeting staff demands for fair pay rises and improved working conditions, preventing the closure of ULU, and publicly opposing the sell-off of student debt. University management obtained a legal injunction against protest on the campus area. The belongings of protesters were confiscated and some still have not been returned.

SOAS Students’ Union vehemently condemns the actions of the Metropolitan Police in this incident. They have acted without legal justification and with the brutal force that we as students have seen far too much of in the past few years. The University of London management has once again displayed its eagerness to stifle dissent and criminalise peaceful protest. With the reaction to this occupation, we seem to have finally reached the point where student protest is effectively illegal.

We call on university management to explain its actions on December 4th.

A police presence has remained in the Bloomsbury area today. During a protest against police on campus, students were chased toward Euston Square station where they were indiscriminately kettled. A number of SOAS staff and students were arrested en masse with no apparent basis, as well as members of the general public, press, and legal observers. Footage has emerged of a number of incidents of police brutality. Those arrested have been taken to police stations far outside of central London. We continue to be disgusted by the excessive actions of the Metropolitan Police.

If you have any concerns, eyewitness statements or footage of police misconduct please contact David East (, Leah Edwards ( or Georgie Robinson (

We will hold an open meeting on this subject next Tuesday in the JCR at 5pm.

SOAS Students’ Union Executive Committee

– See more at:


The Pathology of the Rich – Chris Hedges

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The Pathology of the Rich – Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself pt1

Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig , spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years. He has written nine books, including “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

The Liberal Democrat/ Conservatives are Privatising our NHS

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Big thanks to Robert Livingstone for his excellent pictures

Amy Winehouse “Free Nelson Mandela” (Treacy version)

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Amy Winehouse sings “Free Nelson Mandela” at the 46664 Concert in London in 2008. Her album “Back to Black” made Winehouse the first British singer to win five Grammys. The 46664 concerts are a series of AIDS charity events played in honour of Nelson Mandela by South African musicians. Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island in 1964, and was the 466th prisoner to arrive that year. “Free Nelson Mandela” is a song written by Jerry Dammers and performed by his Coventry-based band The Special A.K.A. released on the single Nelson Mandela / Break Down The Door in 1984 as a protest against the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. Unlike most protest songs, the track is upbeat and celebratory, drawing on musical influences from South Africa. The song reached No.9 in the UK charts and was immensely popular in Africa.

Dr. Patrick Treacy was part of the “Free Nelson Mandela” campaign and worked in South Africa as a doctor after Nelson Mandela was freed. The video shows the badge he wore.

Gary Younge on Nelson Mandela: ‘For many he was saint-like, but in fact he was a canny politician’ – video obituary

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The Guardian December 5th 2013

Gary Younge remembers the ecstatic reaction of ordinary voters to Nelson Mandela in 1994 on the campaign trail in South Africa’s first democratic general election.

He considers Mandela’s emblematic status in the anti-apartheid movement; his role in the foundation of post-apartheid South Africa; and his status as one of the most transformative politicians of the 20th century


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