Free Zenon - Defend the right to protest
We are deeply concerned at the 15 month custodial sentence imposed on Friday 4th November on Zenon Mitchell Kotsakis, a second year politics student at Sussex University following his arrest at the education demonstration against fees and cuts on 10th November 2010.
This is one of a series of entirely disproportionate sentences given to student protesters recently under the Public Order Act, 1986, for the offence of 'violent disorder', not for harming another person, but for offences such as throwing a placard stick.
It is clear that such severe sentences are political and meant to deter young people from demonstrating in the name of equality and social justice. We cannot countenance our friend and fellow being held up as an example in order to scare people away from protest.
* We call on university senior managers to support their students when victimised by political sentencing.
* We call on the university to allow Zenon to continue his studies at Sussex.
* We demand the sentence be overturned and Zenon immediately released.