In 2010, ‘the Sussex 6’, were suspended for protesting. In 2013, ‘the Sussex 5’, were suspended for protesting against privatisation and pay cuts in higher education. The evidence given for the suspensions were as ridiculous as ‘encouraging a team of protesters with a megaphone’. Pictures show the suspended students next to many fellow protesters who did
the same but weren’t suspended. This and the fact that, in both cases, some of the suspended students weren’t even present at the events that provoked the suspensions, shows how arbitrary they are.
After daily demonstrations, a SU Emergency Members Meeting for the Sussex 5 with over 750 students and a tremendous amount of solidarity statements from all over the country the physical bans from campus were lifted. In a disciplinary hearing the Sussex 6 got a huge fine. The Sussex 5 face the same hearing on Friday the 17th of January. They will be heard one by one in an unannounced location for at least 45 minutes each. In the hearing will be Juliette Cule, representative of the Students’ Union; Liz James, head of Senate (which is appointed by management); Geoffrey Robertson, human rights lawyer, defending the students and it will be chaired by Michael Davies, member of management. They are not public and the 5 are not allowed to communicate with each other until they are all over.
The outcome could range from a fine to an expulsion. Even a fine is a violation against the freedom of speech. Sai Englert, one of the Sussex Six says: ‘I always felt a mixture of fear for the future of my studies and that in some way it is a sort of badge of honour’.
Join the solidarity demonstration at 1pm in Library Square on Friday to show mangement that Sussex will not be intimidated by disciplinary action!