Archive for the ‘Top Stories’ Category


Sussex Against Privatisation Press Release:
Blow-by-blow account and pictures of the day:

Last week saw roughly 1000 UK students attend a national protest against privatisation, held at Sussex University. The protest was called by the Sussex Occupation – who have been occupying a conference centre in their university for seven weeks, in protest against the outsourcing of 235 jobs to private companies. The occupation is still there as I write this, but is under immanent threat of eviction. University Management has got the High Court to put an injunction in place – banning any and all protest on campus. In addition they now also have a ‘possession order’ on the occupied building, meaning that it could be invaded by bailiffs at any time. According to their blog ( ), security are currently refusing to allow any people, or even any food, into the occupation, and have been seen intimidating anyone associated with the protest. Sussex occupiers could use support – so if nothing else, please consider signing their petition against the ban on protests:


Latest: The “Academic Board” has recommended that the Politics and International Relations courses be closed. Steve West will be making the final decision no later than 1st March…

[Sign saying "uwe loves politics and IR"] Students and staff at the University of the West of England in Bristol have been met with unwelcome news from the Vice Chancellor’s office that management are considering a proposal to scrap the university’s entire Politics and International Relations department. Students campaigning against this absurd proposal released the following statement:

“As students of the University of the West of England Bristol, we reject the Vice-Chancellors posturing to cut politics and international relations at UWE. We recognise that these courses received 92% and 90% student satisfaction in the recent national student survey, they maintain a good level of recruitment, also 90% of politics and IR graduates go onto employment within six months of graduating.

As such we call for the Vice chancellor to withdraw this proposal and continue to support Politics and International relations at UWE. Cuts such as these would damage the services students receive at this educational institution.

We feel that these proposals would serve only to damage the academic integrity of the university and the community in general.

As students we will seek to work closely with our lecturers and support staff.”


Sussex Against Privatisation Banner

Sussex Against Privatisation Banner (Photo courtesy of Alice Bell)

On 7th February,  following a demonstration against the privatisation of 235 jobs at their university,  Sussex students occupied the Bramber conference centre on their campus. They are demanding:

1. A complete halting of the ongoing bidding process and end to the entire privatization program, effective immediately.
2. A commission of students, staff and lecturers to be formed. With full remit to re-evaluate procedures and channels for holding management accountable as well as reviewing and extending student and workers’ say in these decisions.
3. An end to the intimidation that senior and middle management have used to deter students and workers for airing and acting on their concerns.

Please consider signing the statement of solidarity to show your support

Check out their  the website or facebook group for more info.

UPDATES:  (check @occupy_sussex twitter, or the Sussex Against Privatisation blog for latest)


A grim report prepared by France’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) obtained by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) states that president’s Obama and Sarkozy have “agreed in principal” to create a joint US-European military force to deal exclusively with a Global uprising expected this spring as our World runs out of food.

According to this report, Sarkozy, as head of the G-20 group of developed Nations, called for and received an emergency meeting with Obama this past Monday at the White Housewherein he warned his American counterpart that the shock rise in food prices occurring due to an unprecedented series of disasters was threatening the stability of the entire World and could lead to the outbreak of Total Global War.

Just last week French Prime Minister Francois Fillon underlined that one of France’s top G-20 priorities was to find a collective response to “excessive volatility” in food prices now occurring, a statement joined by Philippe Chalmin, a top economic adviser to the French government, who warned the World may face social unrest including food riots in April as grain prices increase to unprecedented highs.


Mohammed Ghannouchi says he will step down following deaths during anti-government protests.

Mohammed Ghannouchi, Tunisia’s interim prime minister, has resigned, as security forces clashed with protesters in Tunis, the capital, who were demanding some of his minsters be removed.

Ghannouchi made the announcement on state television on Sunday, saying that he had thought carefully before taking the decision and that he had the support of his family.

“I am not running away from responsibility … This is to open the way for a new prime minister,” he said. “I am not ready to be the person who takes decisions that would end up causing casualties.”

He did not say when his resignation would take effect.

From Labour Uncut

The Tories have a new policy on homelessness: make it illegal. That is the extraordinary intention of a Conservative flagship council. Worse, they want to ban Salvation Army soup kitchens.

Westminster city council, the richest and most powerful council in the UK, is proposing a new bye-law to ban rough sleeping and “soup runs” in the Victoria area of London. The proposed new bye-law will make it an offence punishable by a fine to “sleep or lie down”, “deposit materials used as bedding” and to “give out, or permit another to give out, food for free”.

If these proposals are passed, they will also prohibit companies with a proud record of corporate social responsibility from doing good things. Companies like Pret a Manger, who have, very quietly, for many years, given away their unsold food to London’s homeless. If the Tories get their way, companies like Pret will be forced to throw the food in the bin.


BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Thousands of Iraqis inspired by uprisings around the Arab world protested on Friday against corruption and poor basic services in nationwide rallies where at least 10 people died in clashes with security forces.

Scores of others were hurt in skirmishes during Iraq’s “Day of Rage” when demonstrators tried to storm government buildings and security personnel fired shots to try to disperse them.

There were no reports of insurgent attacks against the protests despite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s warning that al Qaeda militants and others might try to disrupt the rallies.

Maliki vowed not to ignore the protesters’ demands.

“I would like to assure all our people that nothing which they have protested against due to their discontent will go in vain,” he said in a statement. “I will follow up personally the implementation of all issues under my authority as prime minister.”

The most violent clashes between protesters and security forcesoccurred in the restive areas of Hawija and Mosul in the north and the southern oil hub of Basra.

Eight years after the U.S.-led invasion which ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, development remains slow and Iraqis complain of shortages of food rations, water, power and jobs.

The Arab world has erupted in protests aimed at ousting long-standing rulers and holding free elections but Iraqis have focused more on gripes over essential needs and corruption.

“We are here for change, to improve the situation of the country. The education system is bad. The health system is also bad. Services are going from bad to worse,” said 27-year-old Lina Ali, part of a protest youth group on Facebook.

“There is no drinkable water, no electricity. Unemployment is growing, which can push the youth toward terrorist activities,” she said at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.

Frustration has mounted in the war-torn state, which has vast oil reserves and the potential to be a major producer. “Where’s my share in the oil profits?” one banner read.

“People are hungry. We ask the government to find job opportunities for the young,” said 52-year-old Um Safa, who walked from Baghdad’s northeastern Sadr City slum to Tahrir Square to take part in the protests.


In Mosul, guards and security forces opened fire when protesters tried to storm the local government building, a Reuters witness said.

Three people were killed and 15 wounded in the clashes. Demonstrators set fire to the building and a percussion bomb exploded amongst the crowd, a police source said.

Protesters also set fire to a local council building in Hawija, a restive area near the oil city of Kirkuk. Two people were killed and 22 injured in scuffles, a police source said.

In Kalar, a town south of Sulaimaniya in northern Iraq, one person was killed and at least 10 wounded when security forces opened fire on protesters, security and medical sources said, while another 15 people were injured in separate skirmishes.

In the northern town of Chamchamal, one person was killed and five wounded in protest clashes, a health official said.

A curfew was imposed in Basra until 6 am (0300 GMT) on Saturday after clashes between security forcesand protesters that killed one person and wounded dozens protesters and security officers, Basra Governor Shaltagh Abboud said he would resign in response to protesters’ demands.

Two people were killed and 22 others were wounded in Samarra and Tikrit and at least 43 protesters and security officers were hurt in Kirkuk, Falluja, Sulaiman Pek, Nassiriya and Khaldiya.

In Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where the crowd swelled to thousands, minor clashes broke out as protesters stormed past concrete blast walls on the nearby Jumhuriya bridge leading to the fortified Green Zone of government buildings and embassies.

Fifteen people were hurt as protesters threw rocks and security forces hit them with sticks. Police and soldiers used sound bombs and fired shots into the air to scatter protesters. A vehicle curfew was in effect in the capital.

(Additional reporting by Muhanad Mohammed and Suadad al-Salhy in Baghdad, Sabah al-Bazee in Samarra, Aref Mohammed in Basra, Mustafa Mahmoud in Kirkuk, Khaled Farhan in Najaf, Jamal al-Badrani in Mosul, Fadhel al-Badrani in Falluja and Namo Abdulla in Sulaimaniya; Writing by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Jon Hemming)