LSE Action and Arrest

Students, cleaners and supporters continued their series of protests at the LSE for equal sick pay, holidays and pensions etc to similar workers directly employed by the LSE, and for an end to bullying and discrimination by their employer Noonan, including the unfair dismissal of Alba. This rally was on the first day of a two day strike, taken after a complete refusal of the employers to talk with the union.

After a lunchtime rally outside the student’s union, the protesters marched to 1 Kingsway, which houses the LSE Estates Office, and a large group walked into the foyer despite the protests of a security man and the receptionist, and occupied this for a little over an hour.

There were speeches about the cleaners demands and chanting of ‘LSE, Shame on You’ and other slogans. After a while the protesters sat of the floor of the foyer, while some others danced to loud music on the PA system. But the protesters were careful to leave a clear path for people leaving and entering the offices for lunch.

Police eventually arrived and talked with both the LSE staff and UVW General Secretary Petros Elia, eventually taking him through the entrance gates to talk with the LSE facilities manager. After a few minutes he emerged smiling, saying that management had finally agreed to have a proper meeting with the union, and the protesters left the building.

As they stood on the pavement outside sharing the news with those who had not been inside, police suddenly surrounded LSE academic Dr Lisa McKenzie, seizing her and assaulting her. She was arrested and bundled into a police van, charged with having assaulted the building receptionist when the protesters entered the building and she had been holding the UVW banner.

Fortunately her entry into the building had been filmed, showing the charge was false. I had been just a few feet behind her and would have seen had any significant assault had taken place, and there were a number of other witnesses to her innocence.

Lisa stands out because of her hair colour, and also makes her views heard at protest. As I wrote in My London Diary, her arrest on this occasion was  “probably linked to the police feeling aggrieved after failing to achieve a conviction when she was wrongly charged with three offences at a protest in February 2015 at the time she was standing in the General Election against Iain Duncan Smith – a previous arrest that was apparently politically motivated.”

LSE cleaners strike and protest
Police arrest Lisa again

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