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LSE Students: Rent Strike Update

#SSRentStrike Update: May 15, 2020


Hey Rent Strikers,

I have some frustrating news to share with you all, as well as some important key points on our strategy moving forward. If you don’t want to read this whole long message, PLEASE read the TL;DR at the end, as there are urgent immediate actions that need to be taken that may apply to you.

The news


On Wednesday, Zulum (LSESU General Secretary) met with Andrew Young (LSE COO) to discuss the ongoing rent strike against Sanctuary Students. We decided to ask the LSE Administration to commit to a bailout deadline, June 1, so that if Sanctuary hadn’t changed it’s position by then, they would provide the bailout funds directly to students.

Unfortunately, the LSE’s current position as an institution is that they do not intend to bail out the LKH students. Their position is that as the school is losing money, low priority expenses are being cut where possible. They have decided that the bailing out of LKH residents is not important enough to merit their direct financial intervention, so while they are going to continue to pressure Sanctuary, they will be limiting their involvement to that. We anticipate that unless something sufficiently outrageous were to happen (i.e.: students getting evicted or being threatened with legal action), the LSE will choose to keep the strike at arm’s length.


Incidentally, many of the members of the LSE administration have unofficially endorsed the strike, stating that they agree with its purpose, and even one member going so far as to say that they wouldn’t be paying rent either if they were in our position. This is obviously nice to hear, but somewhat unhelpful in terms of students’ immediate needs. One important piece of advice we were given, however, is that students who have permanently moved out of LKH but left items behind should arrange to have those items moved and stored somewhere ASAP. If this applies to you but you are worried about the logistics of this, please use the resources provided in the TL;DR below.

The good news is this materially changes nothing for the strike. We did not have a guarantee of their support before, and so we are not losing anything now. It is disappointing, but somewhat expected based on their reticence up to this point in communicating with us. Working alongside the LSESU, we have developed a strategy to continue pressuring the LSE Admin until the optics are so bad that they are forced to intervene in a meaningful way. I want to make it clear the the LSESU fully supports our strike, and they are providing advice and funding to students who are struggling. Please do not hesitate to make use of their resources if you need them.


I understand that currently many of us are writing exams or summatives, so I am not asking that anyone do anything right now. School is absolutely the first priority - the strike isn’t going anywhere - so please only get involved in strike action when you have the time and energy to do it! As of next week I will have turned in my final summative (yay!) so I will be sharing our next steps and action points for anyone who is also free and wanting to fight. Please DM me if you want to get involved and haven’t already been added to the action group.

TL;DR - Immediate Action Points

  1. If you have left LKH permanently but left items behind, please arrange for those items to be moved out and stored ASAP. This is direct advice from Andrew Young. If you are worried about the logistics of this, please DM me, and/or contact Zulum and David from the LSESU for advice. (su.generalsecretary@lse.ac.uk ; su.communitywelfare@lse.ac.uk)

  2. If you are worried about the cost of moving/storage, the LSESU have hardship funds available to cover this expense. Please visit the LSESU website for more details: https://www.lsesu.com/advice/suhardshipfunds/

  3. If anyone is threatened with any sort of legal action, PLEASE LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY. If possible, obtain written or recorded proof (either by filming the incident, or getting them to confirm what they have said in writing by e-mail). Any evidence to this effect would most likely force the LSE to intervene immediately, which would expedite our desired outcomes immensely.


Once again, thank you to everyone who is still striking, or is still standing in solidarity with the strike. This movement wouldn’t be possible without you, and your support is so appreciated and valued. Stay strong, stay safe, and best of luck with your finals!

In solidarity,


Tama

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