Around 200 Sussex students have occupied a lecture theatre demanding the reinstatement of the “Sussex Six”. A high court injunction banning protest on campus has failed to crush militancy.
The university authorities suspended the six students last week over their involvement in a previous occupation against cuts. They were banned from campus, leaving them unable to attend lecturers or carry out political activity.
But since the suspensions the movement has grown more determined to overturn cuts plans and get justice for their fellow students.
Almost 500 students rallied on campus this afternoon outside the management offices in Sussex House where the previous occupation took place.
The new occupation is in Bramber House—in the same lecture theatre occupied last year in solidarity with the people of Gaza.
Sarah, a student at Sussex, said, “Over 1,500 people have signed a petition calling for management to reinstate the suspended students. Around 400 people have taken photos of themselves holding signs saying ‘I occupied Sussex House’. The level of solidarity is huge.”
The UCU lecturers’ union is due to strike at Sussex next Thursday against plans for cuts that will result in 115 job losses and the slashing of services.
A union statement says, “Sussex UCU wishes to express its deep concern at the disproportionate response of management to the occupation of Sussex House last week.'
It continues, “We urge the vice-chancellor to lift the suspensions with immediate effect so as to enable the students to continue their studies and to exercise their human rights; and to expedite any disciplinary procedures that may be pending.”