Video: Pressure grows on Sussex University management as students storm building in demonstration against privatisation

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Students at Sussex University have stepped up their efforts to block the proposed privatisation of several key services, by storming the conference room and third floor balcony of Bramber House. The surge followed a protest attended by over 300 students and staff, as well as comedian and Independent columnist Mark Steel.

Students have occupied parts of the building since Thursday 3 February, as a ‘last resort’ to resist privatisation after declaring that communicating with management down the conventional channels had become ‘impossible’.

The occupiers had numbered around 40 until yesterday’s demonstration when, after one of the largest protests in the university’s history, cries of ‘join them’ led to what the press contact for the Occupy group is describing as a surge of ‘hundreds’ into the building.

Kit Bradshaw, communications officer for the Sussex Student’s Union confirmed on twitter that: “security have let hundreds of students into Bramber House conference centre to join the occupation”.

On the morning of the most recent protest Sussex Vice Chancellor, Prof Michael Farthing, in a letter to the students occupying the terrace said that he had “been asked by a number of staff and student to find a way to resolve this situation” before offering a meeting on the condition that “before the meeting takes place, we would want all the people involved in the protest to leave the terrace room”.

The students occupying responded saying that “If dissolving this occupation is the only condition upon which we can meet, then will not have a meeting” and instead, invited the Vice Chancellor and university registrar John Duffy, who is responsible for overseeing the outsourcing on campus, to a meeting in the occupied conference room.

It came a day after the release of a statement of support for the campaign, signed by over 150 leading academics, journalists and celebrities, including Caroline Lucas MP, activist Noam Chomsky, and BAFTA and Academy award winning actor and director Peter Capaldi.

Speaking at the demonstration, Mark Steel told the students it was an “honour and a privilege” to speak to them, and praised them for “standing up for what is right”, he also appeared to make reference to the recent horsemeat scandal when he told the students: “private business, food, what could possibly go wrong?”.

During a recent Q and A session between university registrar John Duffy, and students, Duffy insisted that the “treatment of staff and quality of service [are] top priorities” and that it was “really important that employers on this campus treat their staff well (…) a good employer will pay [and] treat staff equally”.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
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...

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: Nursery Nurse Leeds November start...

EBD LSA required - Vale of Glamorgan

£60 - £65 per day + plus free travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: The J...

EBD Teacher - Food Technology Specialist

£100 - £181 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: The JobTo plan and deliver all ...

Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?