ONE hundred Sussex students, UCU members and students from other universities marched through the campus of a snow-bound University of Sussex yesterday lunchtime.
The ‘Fight Privatisation – Take Control of Campus’ demonstration was called in support of the struggle against privatisation of the services at the university and in support of the students’ occupation of the Bramber House Conference Centre which has been continuing for over a month.
Addressing the students before the march commenced, Adriano Merola, a final year international relations student at Sussex, said: ‘Nature has done the job for us and closed down campus, but we have to make sure we shut it down by any means necessary.’
Tom Hickey, UCU Chair University of Brighton, NEC member, said: ‘I think this is a pivotal struggle. The eyes of the whole education sector are on Sussex. Every employee in every university and future generations of students will owe a debt of gratitude to what the occupiers at Sussex are doing now.’
The demonstration was also supported by students from Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, Slade and UCL.
Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the UCU, said of the occupation: ‘Today the occupiers at the University of Sussex are offering us all a lead in effective resistance to privatisation.
‘As staff in universities, we have a duty not only to support them but to come to their aid. They need collections of money to keep them going. They need tens of thousands of signatures on the on-line petition to register that they are not alone.
‘They need visiting delegations and speakers from trade union branches and student unions and community groups from across the country. They need their resistance to privatisation in education to link up with the campaigns against hospital closures and the reduction in fire-fighting cover and job cuts in the public sector.’