Stop the Cuts! Defend the Sussex Six! 'An injury to one is an injury to all'
Sussex Stop the Cuts campaign is a self-organising group of students and staff who oppose the extensive cuts to staff and services being pushed through by the University of Sussex management. We have organised large demonstrations, mobilising hundreds of students and staff, occupied university buildings, organised alternative teach-ins and supported our staff in their overwhelming vote for and undertaking of solid strike action.
Last term management attempted to break the Stop the Cuts movement by victimising 6 students and unilaterally suspending them from University after an occupation of the main admin building, Sussex House. They were met with fierce opposition: a week long 'illegal' occupation (following a High Court injunction), an Emergency General Meeting of USSU with over 900 students voting 'No Confidence' in management and demanding the immediate reinstatement of the Sussex Six. The University Senate also called for the reinstatement of the Sussex Six. Both Senate and the USSU EGM called for an independent investigation into the events of the day being used to suspend the students (and grant the High Court injunction) when management called riot police onto campus under the guise of a falsely construed 'hostage situation'. (Reported in the Times here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=411436&c=1)
Management continue their intransigent attitude towards staff and students as they refuse to consider alternatives to the cuts. Michael Farthing, Sussex VC, recently wrote in The Independent, his view that tuition fees should rise to £7,500 a year.This management are not interested in access to Higher Education for all
members of society. Rather, they want to turn this University into a
factory, and they will attempt to silence any opposition to their plans.
VCEG are now pushing forward with the disciplinaries against the six students. The Sussex Six are still facing charges relating to the events of the Sussex House occupation that are questioned both by Senate and the Times article above.
We, the undersigned, will not tolerate management victimisation against members of Stop the Cuts, who took part in the collective action of students to defend our education from attack.
We, the undersigned, oppose the disciplinaries and any punitive action that may result from the disciplinary process. The Sussex six are not being judged for their own actions but are being used as a scapegoat by management to exact retribution on a movement that has grown and garnered support from across the world in our actions to defend Sussex University - that is, the staff, students, courses and services that compose our institution. We must defend the right to protest and to defend our education. We will not be intimidated by a bullying management.
*No to victimisation of students and staff*
*Oppose disciplinary action - an injury to one is an injury to all*
*Stop the Cuts - no redundancies, no cuts to services*