A group of students organised in the UCL Social Forum, UCL Stop the War Society and the UCLSSWS, together with other activists, occupied the UCL (University College London) on the eve of the national march against the occupation of Iraq. The aim of this protest was to bring attention to the imperialist war in Iraq while also providing somewhere to stay overnight for other students who were arriving from all over England to attend the demonstration that took place on March 19.
The action started with the tunes of the Samba band “rhythms of resistance” on the evening of March 18. Around 60 students broke into one of the rooms and for 16 hours provided a space where discussions on the forthcoming General Elections, the G8 summit and the current struggles of the Trade Unions were held. Room for stalls was allocated in order to allow campaigning groups to distribute their propaganda. Within a few hours, they were joined by dozens of students and activists from outside UCL. Some anti-war activists, trade unionists and Hands Off Venezuela supporters went there to express their solidarity with the students. The political debates were followed by various bands that entertained the students.
The students put up banners with slogans such as, “Students are not products, teachers are not tools, Universities are not factories.” Another banner read, “Students are revolting. Our college, our space”.
In the morning the students headed for the demonstration and joined the thousands of protestors who met in London to demand the troops be brought home.