Second occupation at the University of Sussex

Secong occupation at the University of Sussex

Following the largest demonstration yet, a second occupation has begun 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.

Posted By

libcom
Feb 28 2013 14:19

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  • 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.

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Joseph Kay
Feb 28 2013 17:57

According to twitter, there's now a third occupation following the second mass demo of the day. Sounds like a flash occupation to disrupt the talk that was earlier scheduled for the medical school (which was moved when the original venue was occupied earlier). Apparently a cop was due to speak.

KriegPhilosophy
Feb 28 2013 19:38

Fucking great smile

Joseph Kay
Feb 28 2013 19:51
Statement of Thursday’s Third Occupation! 3 Weeks – 3 Spaces – One Community

Students and staff have occupied the Jubilee lecture theatre.

This is currently the third occupied space on campus.

We have taken this space temporarily as a portent of things to come.

These actions are part of a broad movement to halt the privatisation of services and bring attention to management’s refusal to engage in any form of dialogue. John Duffy has stated that even if all students and staff personally expressed concerns over outsourcing, that the process would go ahead regardless.

They have left us no choice. We will disrupt, block and destroy their ability to manage our campus.

We wish to extend greetings and solidarity to the organisers of the event that we disrupted. After discussion with us they professed their support for our cause and our actions. Our quarrel lies with management, and we recognise that our interests ultimately lie together. Indeed, in taking spaces such as these we hope to materialise that unity.

Once again we re-state our demands:

• 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

Here, we have demonstrated our power. We leave the Jubilee and Michael Chowen lecture theatres with management on the back foot. Let them know that we will continue to escalate until they capitulate to our demands.

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.

http://sussexagainstprivatization.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/statement-of-thursdays-third-occupation-3-weeks-3-spaces-one-community/

Joseph Kay
Feb 28 2013 20:09

Apparently today's occupations have been (voluntarily) dissolved back into the main Bramber House one. "This is a warning shot".

KriegPhilosophy
Feb 28 2013 20:14
Quote:
The university is a factory – shut it down.

Is their any theory on the mechanics of university's at all in relation to "capital".

Joseph Kay
Feb 28 2013 20:27
KriegPhilosophy wrote:
Quote:
The university is a factory – shut it down.

Is their any theory on the mechanics of university's at all in relation to "capital".

In general, or from Sussex folks in particular? This is pretty good in terms of the integration of universities into the circuits of finance capital (something far more advanced in the US, but accelerating here). This is a pretty good overview of the changes in the UK since 1978 (though is tinged with a bit of nostalgia for a lost age and a sort of liberal civil society angle). This is a recent analysis of a UK institution. I think the 'university is a factory' slogan came from (or was popularised by) the wave of US uni occupations, particularly in California.

Part of the demo earlier, prior to the flash occupations...

Joseph Kay
Feb 28 2013 22:32
jolasmo
Feb 28 2013 22:41

Can someone explain to me the significance of the yellow flags? Is this linked to the red/yellow squares in the Quebec student movement/JK's new avi?

~J.

Zanet Urth
Mar 1 2013 02:11

Yeah it's a nod to the Quebec movement. Sussex is plastered in yellow.

Harrison
Mar 1 2013 05:25

I assumed it was a twitter derived trolling i hadn't heard of - like a yellow square for liberal or something

"We are all laurie penny!"

Joseph Kay
Mar 1 2013 07:17

Afaik, the squares are directly inspired by Quebec, and it's yellow because there were already yellow '1/235' and 'I support the 235' badges in circulation (which management have banned some staff from wearing). There's also a few red ones around and the odd red flag, some of the students have been trying to get 'the renegade union' off the ground. As Zanet says, there's yellow squares in the windows of virtually every building on campus, including some private companies, and they've also been spotted at the bus depot in town (during strikes, buses often refuse to come onto campus).

Joseph Kay
Mar 1 2013 09:04
Joseph Kay
Mar 2 2013 11:58
Joseph Kay
Mar 2 2013 11:59

(Park Village residential services staff are amongst the 235)

Ramona
Mar 10 2013 16:47

Best propaganda possibly ever

wojtek
Mar 18 2013 12:53
ocelot
Mar 20 2013 17:36
Joseph Kay wrote:
KriegPhilosophy wrote:
Quote:
The university is a factory – shut it down.

Is their any theory on the mechanics of university's at all in relation to "capital".

In general, or from Sussex folks in particular?

There's also the edu-factory project, which people like George Caffentzis and Silvia Federici have been involved with for a good few years now. See Edu-factory Manifesto, and a paper from 2007 - Notes on the edu–factory and Cognitive Capitalism.

It's an autonomist trope, but I don't know if it goes back all the way to the 70s and the identification of students as "social factory" workers.

lukeflegg
Mar 20 2013 18:19

Talk face to face with Sussex Occupy this Thurs & Fri
using Google+ Hangout

https://www.facebook.com/events/101274783401426/

as part of their open day : ]