The university is a factory – shut it down! Sussex Students and Staff Take TWO More Buildings…

Posted: 28/02/2013 by ukism in Action News

Update: Since this post was first published, a second building has been occupied! Details and statement added to the end of the article…

“We are here as students and staff to deny management the power to manage our university. In place of their rule, we create space to imagine alternatives – a university where we hold the power, and need never fear attacks on our jobs and our education.”

sussex_2nd_occupation  Following a demonstration of staff and students against privatisation and outsourcing in Sussex University, a second occupation has started.  About 200 students are currently occupying the Michael Chowen lecture theatre, (of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School). It isn’t yet clear how long they will stay – best check their twitter or their blog for updates. So far, they have released the following statement:

200 students and staff of this university have occupied Brighton and Sussex Medical School Lecture Theatre .

This action is a response to a lack of alternatives within the current situation. Management still refuse to engage with our demands even as they attempt to placate us by feigning negotiation. So we reiterate that we will not compromise, and state them again:

•An immediate end to the privatisation process
•An immediate end to management intimidation and attempts to stifle dissent
•The establishing of a means for us to hold management to account

But in being here, as with the occupation of Bramber House, we go beyond those demands. According to the management, we will fade away if we are ignored. In fact, we are going nowhere. We are the students and staff who make this university, and we will not tolerate the parasites that feed off us.

Michael Farthing and VCEG are hated across campus: the Student’s Union has not one, but two current votes of no confidence in the Vice Chancellor. Staff distrust and despise him. In taking this space, we materially enact that absence of confidence in rule by Michael Farthing and VCEG.

We are here as students and staff to deny management the power to manage our university. In place of their rule, we create space to imagine alternatives – a university where we hold the power, and need never fear attacks on our jobs and our education.

Our temporary occupation here should be considered a warning shot: this campus was always ours, and we will not allow management to terrorise our community any longer.

We call on all staff and students to join us. To reclaim the spaces of our campus. To strike. To occupy.

The university is a factory – shut it down

STOP PRESS: ‘Jubilee Lecture Theatre’ occupiedsussex_3rd_occupation

From the Occupy Sussex facebook page:
Students and staff have occupied the Jubilee lecture theatre.

This is currently the third occupied space on campus.

We have taken this space temporarily as a portent of things to come.

These actions are part of a broad movement to halt the privatisation of services and bring attention to management’s refusal to engage in any form of dialogue. John Duffy has stated that even if all students and staff personally expressed concerns over outsourcing, that the process would go ahead regardless.

They have left us no choice. We will disrupt, block and destroy their ability to manage our campus.

We wish to extend greetings and solidarity to the organisers of the event that we disrupted. After discussion with us they professed their support for our cause and our actions. Our quarrel lies with management, and we recognise that our interests ultimately lie together. Indeed, in taking spaces such as these we hope to materialise that unity.

Once again we re-state our demands:

• An immediate end to the privatisation process
• An immediate end to management intimidation and attempts to stifle dissent
• The establishing of a means for us to hold management to account

Here, we have demonstrated our power. We leave the Jubilee and Michael Chowen lecture theatres with management on the back foot. Let them know that we will continue to escalate until they capitulate to our demands.

We call on all staff and students to join us. To reclaim the spaces of our campus. To strike. To occupy.

The university is a factory – shut it down.

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