Sussex occupation prepares for national protest

 

Student protesters at Sussex University are in the final stages of preparation for what could be one of the biggest protests in Sussex University’s history.

The protesters, who have occupied the top floor of a major campus conference centre since 7 February, have been strongly criticised by the university for failing to liaise with them or local police on these plans, which come just days after Green MP Caroline Lucas tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling on management to halt its plans to outsource 10 per cent of the university’s workforce.

The Facebook event for the ‘anti-privatisation’ demo has almost 1,000 confirmed attendees with a further 12,000 people invited.

According to the Occupy Sussex group, several university unions across the country have organised transport to the demo, with UCL's students’ union going as far as offering a free coach service, sparking fears of a mass influx of non-students onto the campus, who have been invited by the protesters to reside overnight in the 200-capacity conference centre.

The University has told The Independent that it has serious concerns about the demonstration: “The students who have announced that there will some sort of 'national demo' at Sussex - and invited people from outside the University to attend - have done so without liaising with the University or with the local police.”

The occupiers would not confirm whether they intend to use the demonstration as a means to occupy additional buildings, a tactic which has been a prominent feature of their recent demonstrations, most recently the flash occupations which saw protesters briefly occupy two lecture halls, splitting opinion amongst students.

A spokesman for the occupation said that they had 'liaised with the Sussex Students' Union and the National Union of Students widely' about the national demonstration.

He added: "After weeks of ignoring students, staff and faculty involved in the campaign, it was deemed more fitting to work though these bodies.

"Two students have met with the director of residential, sport and trading services to discuss the issue further. If the University wishes to discuss this in further detail they are invited to get in touch."

Meanwhile, the already strained relationship between the protesters and university management has again been tested, as the occupiers group accused management of attempting to censor the university paper, The Badger, which recently contacted department heads asking them to forward an online survey, regarding the outsourcing proposals, to their students.

Staff were warned that this would constitute an attempt to circumvent the ‘strict criteria about mass emails sent to all students’ and encouraged them ‘not to pass on this message from the badger to students in your school’.

In a statement, the occupiers said: "The university says it engages in debate, and believes a majority of students support its plans. Why then is it censoring open debate?"

The university sought to clarify the issue to The Independent, insisting that their mass email policy existed to reduce spam. A spokesman said: “We have applied the policy in relation to the request from the Badger as we would for any mass email request.”

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
news

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
News
London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head
news

Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Life and Style
tech

Try putting that one on your Christmas list
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Rapidly developing and growing...

KS2 Teacher

£105 - £120 per day + Expenses: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randstad Educat...

**** Calling All NQT's ****

£90 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a Newly Qualified Teac...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week