Following the largest demonstration yet on Thursday 28th Feb, exactly three weeks from the start of the ongoing Bramber House occupation, a second, temporary, occupation was made at the University of Sussex. This statement was read from the steps of the occupied BSMS building.
We, 200 students and staff of this university, have occupied the Michael Chowen 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.
Originally posted at the Sussex Against Privatization blog.