University of Sussex granted injunction against student occupation

 

An injunction has been granted to the University of Sussex over the occupation of Bramber House which began on 7 February earlier this year.

Bundles of injunction notices with a covering letter addressed “to all Sussex students” were displayed in several key campus locations, including on the exterior make-shift wall erected after protesters broke into the University management building, and on the main doors to the building, which is currently being occupied. 

The injunction, signed March 25, was taken out on a day of national solidarity that saw protesters from universities and unions gather to oppose the University’s plans to outsource 235 members of staff. 

The occupation, which originally held only the conference centre on the top floor of Bramber House, has branched out to occupy the entire floor following the protest yesterday. 

The injunction notice was date-marked 25 March 2013. An application was made by Leading Counsel for the claimant to the Judge. It called on the occupiers to return the space to the University. 

A witness statement was reportedly taken from John Duffy, the registrar and secritat of the University but it has not been included in the injunction released to students.

Duffy however commented in a statement released by the University yesterday, saying: “While we had made it clear to occupiers that their sit-in was unacceptable, we had tolerated it for several weeks because we could contain it without undue disruption to the day-to-day operation of the University.

“The occupation had for the most part been peaceful, although there had been petty acts of vandalism and breaches of University health and safety policy. Prior to Monday’s demonstration, however, we had become increasingly concerned about the attitude of the occupiers towards staff and other students and to University property and about their increasing willingness to invite people on to campus who had no connection with Sussex.”

The injunction warns those in breach of its terms that if they do not comply they be held in contempt of court leading to possible imprisonment, a fine or their assets seized. A court fee of £465.00 has been charged to the claimant. 

The University has released a statement in the last hour explaining that it had “taken this step after the group occupying the space in Bramber House called for many thousands of people to come to campus on Monday to take part in the protest, which led to violence and damage to University property.”

Members of the occupation are said to be in high spirits and are cleaning the occupation space after yesterday’s events which they claim saw 2,000 people in attendance from 27 universities.

The occupiers are said to be consulting a legal team, some of which are students studying Law at the University itself. 

They have announced plans for a protest to take place outside the Royal Courts of Justice tomorrow morning at 09:30. 

There is a general meeting being called this evening at 18:00 to discuss, deliberate on and debate the future of the occupation in light of the injunction. It is also intended to make people involved aware of their rights. 

Members of the occupation have accused the University of “overreacting” by taking out the injunction. Apart from the incident at Sussex House, protests so far have remained mostly peaceful, a member of the occupation has said, and did not warrant the threat of eviction through legal proceedings. 

One occupier said “even if we are forced out, the anti-privatisation campaign shows no signs of slowing down”. The injunction refers only to “persons entering or remaining on the campus and buildings of the University of Sussex for the purpose of protest action (without the consent of the University)”. 

Following a response by students the University have sought to clarify that "the steps we are taking are specifically around the occupation and the violence we experienced on Monday. The University is categorically not seeking to prevent peaceful demonstrations which don’t involve occupations. We will continue to respect our students’ freedom to demonstrate peacefully on our campus.”

The hearing will take place in London at 10:30 today.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on Scotland's oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Sport
footballBayern Munich vs Manchester City match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

English Teacher (Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: English teachers for day to day cover,...

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