University students have been occupying Deptford Town Hall for over a week in protest of alleged systematic racism at Goldsmiths.

The anti-racism occupation started on March 12 and students say it won’t end until demands are met.

Anger was fuelled during the student union leadership elections when one candidate is believed to have been a victim of racial abuse.

An education officer candidate is said to have had her election posters ripped apart with racist graffiti mocking her accent being sprawled across them.

The university told News Shopper it responded to the allegation within five working days and the issue is being investigated as a priority.

However, Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action was formed, and hundreds of people have now signed a petition for the university’s management to tackle the issue.

A statement on the petition read: "Occupiers stand in solidarity with students of colour on campus who face racism, especially anti-blackness, on a daily basis in the form of microaggressions, insensitive lecturers and seminar leaders, readings that exclude our experiences, and lack of response from authorities concerned."

Concerns were also raised about four statues of "colonisers" at Deptford Town Hall and the treatment of security staff and cleaners.

Students say these workers, who they say are mostly from the BAME community, are treated as "second-class citizens" and are demanding the university employs them directly.

Deptford Town Hall, which is used by the university, was initially closed during the occupation with students claiming officials threatened to call the police.

A spokesman for Goldsmiths told News Shopper: "The building has now re-opened and student protestors are free to come and go within usual opening hours.

"Food and non-alcoholic drink has been allowed in throughout the protest, and a number of drinking water taps are accessible to the protesters at all times.

"Goldsmiths respects the right to peaceful protest. Any allegations of violent behaviour should be reported with details to the college so that they can be investigated.

"Having considered wider issues raised by the protesters, we are building on existing support for the 40 per cent of our students who identify as black, Asian or ethnic minority.

"Steps include developing a mandatory training package for all student-facing staff on issues of diversity and race awareness, and major additional investment in student wellbeing services.

"We recognise that there is more work to do in this area, but we hope these steps demonstrate our commitment to improving the experiences and outcomes of our BAME students."

Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action group insists the operation won’t end until the university presents an institution-wide strategic plan on how to tackle racism.