Students and staff banned from protesting at the University of Sussex defied the injunction and occupied a campus café yesterday.
At least 100 campaigners protesting against the University’s plans to privatise some of its services gathered on campus at 1pm to listen to an assembly given by students and staff members.
The University reported that about half the group then went on to occupy the Arts Piazza Café, but Sussex Against Privatisation, the group leading the campaign, said that hundreds had attended.
The coffee shop closed soon after the demonstrators moved in. The peaceful occupation ended at 6pm at the café’s usual closing time.
Michael Segalov, the press contact for the campaigners, said: “Today marked an important step in the continuation and growth of the Sussex Against Privatisation campaign. After 11 months of campaigning, the management still ignores the will of the University.”
An injunction was put in place last month banning all forms of protest on the University’s campus in order to end the campaign group’s seven-week occupation of Bramber House.
Police and bailiffs forcibly evicted the demonstrators earlier this month.
A University spokesperson said: “While [the occupation] disrupted normal university activity and they were not in there with our permission, there are of course many other cafes and social spaces on campus which our 15,000 students and staff could use.”
In a statement, Sussex Against Privatisation apologised to staff members who may have been concerned by the number of students and private security guards entering the café.