MONTY SHIELD looks at the historical importance of Malet Street as a space of student protest. On dreich winter days, Malet Street stands largely deserted, save for the odd huddle of students or a solitary parking attendant. But on others, it is radically transformed. Thousands of activists have found themselves entwined with this place as a political battleground. It was recently the meeting point for the last major dispute between campus workers and university management prior to the Corbyn surge: an arena for thousands of students to build up energy and march on Parliament. I’ve been lucky enough to have been thrown into some of these movements since arriving as a student in London in 2013. On arrival at UCL, as an earnest young revolutionary with little experience of activism and labour struggle, I joined the 6am picket line of the ‘3 Cosas’ (Three Things) strike. This campaign, organised through the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain…Continue Reading

A Place of Pickets and Protest

TOMMY WALTERS introduces ‘Back In House’, a workers’ campaign to end outsourcing and zero-hours contracts at the University of London. It seems almost too fitting that Senate House, the building that inspired George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, is today living up to its connotations of exploitation and hypocrisy. In Orwell’s 1984, the slogan ‘FREEDOM IS SLAVERY’ is ironically plastered across the walls of the ‘enormous pyramidical structures of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air.’ In our parallel universe, workers at the University of London are given the supposed freedom of flexible contracts when outsourced to private contractors, but are in turn underpaid, overworked and deprived of their basic working rights. On Tuesday 21st November, to coincide with the University of London’s Foundation Day dinner attended by Princess Anne at Senate House, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) staged a strike and a simultaneous public protest demanding an end to…Continue Reading

Bring them Back in House