Sussex occupied once more ahead of tomorrow's national academic strike

 

A lecture theatre at Sussex University has been occupied by protesters in support of a national academic strike tomorrow.

Sussex's ‘Arts A’ building was occupied by protesters earlier today, who daubed chalk messages expressing support for strike action.

A leading figure of the Sussex Against Privatisation movement, which had previously occupied another university building in February of this year, tweeted minutes after the occupation, saying: “Sussex uni is #occupied again. Whose campus? Our campus?”

A source in the occupation said they are aiming to stay overnight, before joining protesting academic staff on the picket lines on the edge of the university's Falmer campus, at 7am tomorrow morning.

Some lectures and workshops were scheduled to take place in the building this afternoon, between 2pm and 6pm, but according to university officials, some tutors were reluctant to teach in the occupied space, resulting in some cancelled classes.

The university's Labour and Conservative societies posted a picture on social media earlier in the day depicting senior members of both societies shaking hands with the Arts A occupation in the background, saying that both societies were “united against the occupation”.

The student union has since released a statement saying: "We are speaking with the university to ensure students in the occupation have got fair access, and are working with students inside the occupation to ensure they are operating a safe space policy".

The university is yet to comment on today’s events.

This is the first major occupation on campus since February, when a cohort of around 50 students occupied the third-floor conference space for just under eight weeks.

They were later evicted following a High Court injunction, sought for by the university in the aftermath of their largest demonstration, which attracted in excess of 1,000 people.

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