Students, workers and residents from across Bloomsbury occupied a disused University property and have renamed 53 Gordon Square the Bloomsbury Social Centre.
The building has been empty for three years, subject to a legal dispute over its ownership. One of the claimants, the School of Oriental and African Studies, has this year announced that the property is to be redeveloped as a new post-graduate centre. Concurrently, it has announced the appointment of a new dean of post-graduate studies, one of whose perks will be a luxury apartment in the top-floor of the building.
SOAS management are perhaps ignorant of the context in which 53 Gordon Square was left vacantly to rot. Since 2008, the recession has been steadily worsening. House prices have remained unaffordable, living costs for ordinary people have continued to rise, and desperately needed public space has been made over to Big Retail at fire sale prices.
The occupation hopes to use the space that SOAS have neglected as a hub of organiing for students, workers and residents in the Bloomsbury area. Our social spaces as well as our ability to organise are under attack and this occupation hopes to tackle this issue.
The Bloomsbury Social Centre