Category Archives: Press Releases

Brighton students from the occupation interviewed on internet TV

Suspension of Occupation Press Release

Press Release

Saturday 11th December 2010

Yesterday, we the occupiers of G7 Pavilion Parade collectively decided to suspend the occupation that began on the 24th of November.

The end of this occupation marks the culmination of numerous successes. Starting as a result of the three thousand strong mass demonstration in Brighton on the 24th November, this has become the largest student occupation at the University of Brighton in recent years. Furthermore, in conjunction with the many occupations across the country, this occupation has forced the NUS into a change of policy, shifting its control back into the hands of the students it represents. As a direct result of this, our occupation has secured the support of our own Students’ Union who were originally reticent in offering it. Our actions have also helped in generating wider recognition of occupation as a legitimate form of non-violent direct action, an important step given the now proven futility of depending on Parliamentary politics to reflect popular opinion.

The occupation has created a space which has served a variety of functions, the most immediate being the advancement of an alternative form of higher education. It has also operated as a base from which direct action throughout Brighton can be organised, which in turn has been successful in raising the consciousness of the general public as well as students at the University of Brighton. These successes, at both a local and national level, have demolished the myth of student apathy and have demonstrated that students can be the catalyst for broader social change, spear-heading the struggle against the advancement of neo-liberalism.

There are still many issues we wish to raise with Professor Crampton, Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton. However, Professor Crampton has recently shown himself duplicitous in that his statements to students and staff are radically different to his statements in the national broadsheets. To his students and staff, Professor Crampton has said that he would oppose any policy which would “significantly increase individual contributions”, claiming that it would be “damaging to the country’s economic and social development and to the success of the English university system which underpins it.” However, as a signatory to a recent letter in the Telegraph (see http://bit.ly/fGXKB4) he has stated that he believes “that the Government’s proposals for university funding are reasonable”, and urged Members of Parliament to vote in favour of tripling the cap on tuition fees.

While we are eager to continue a dialogue with Professor Crampton, given his duplicity, we aren’t hopeful it will be a productive one. Our collective voice is heard most clearly when spoken through the medium of non-violent direct action.

An occupation is not the room it is based in, it is the people that are a part of it. And these people extend far beyond those who slept in Pavilion Parade for over two weeks. The people who brought us delicious food; the people who shared their myriad skills; and the people who sent messages of support from as far away as Spain, Greece, Argentina, Mexico and Palestine – all these people occupied Pavilion Parade.

While the ideology of neo-liberalism continues to attempt to privatise our higher education, we will continue to resist.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

For more information please contact:

Email: brightonagainstcuts@gmail.com
Blog: brightonresistance.wordpress.com
Twitter: brightonnocuts
Facebook: Brighton University Stop the Cuts

Vice Chancellor Professor Julian Crampton invited to 9th December tuition fees protest

Press Release
Wednesday 8th December 2010

Vice Chancellor Professor Julian Crampton invited to 9th December tuition fees protest

The Vice Chancellor of University of Brighton, Professor Julian Crampton, has been invited to join students and staff demonstrating in London on Thursday 9th December, the day the rise in tuition fees is being debated in Parliament.

In a public response to the occupiers of the Pavilion Parade university building, Professor Crampton made clear his opposition to any policy that would “significantly increase individual contributions”, claiming that it would be “damaging to the country’s economic and social development and to the success of the English university system which underpins it.”

To ensure that the Vice Chancellor has the opportunity to demonstrate his opposition to the rise in tuition fees a complimentary seat has been reserved for him (all expenses paid) on one of the coaches taking students and staff to the demonstrations.

Professor Crampton’s support of the occupiers of Pavilion Parade, by ensuring the continual presence of heating, water, electricity and security, is a mark of his commitment to the fight against the privatisation of higher education.  We look forward to his presence at the demonstration on December 9th.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

For the original latter please see http://bit.ly/dJpYle

For more information please contact:

Email: brightonagainstcuts@gmail.com
Blog: brightonresistance.wordpress.com
Twitter: brightonnocuts
Facebook: Brighton University Stop the Cuts

Letter to VC inviting him to attend London protest on 9th

Re: Press Release

8th December 2010

Dear Professor Crampton,

Thank you for your response to our demands.

We are delighted to hear that, like us, you oppose the Browne Report’s proposed restructuring of higher education.  This places you alongside a growing number of Vice Chancellors who have publicly opposed the Browne Report’s proposals.  While there are issues that still need to be discussed between you and ourselves, we greatly appreciate you demonstrating your support of our cause by making our stay in G7 Pavilion Parade so pleasant.  Keeping the heating, water, electricity and security present throughout our time here is a mark of your opposition to the privatisation of higher education.

As you will know, Thursday 9th December has been decided on as the date for the vote in Parliament regarding raising the cap on tuition fees.  Coaches will be provided for staff and students to attend the day’s demonstration, and you will be pleased to know that we have reserved you a complimentary seat (all expenses paid) to allow you to publicly demonstrate your opposition to the raising of tuition fees.  We have invited a journalist from the Argus to be present on the coach to ensure that your message of opposition reaches as wide an audience as possible.

The support this occupation has received has shown that there is a vast opposition to the Browne Report’s proposals.  As someone whom is a part of this opposition you can rest assured that non-violent direct action will remain a central part of the resistance to the privatisation of higher education for as long as it is necessary.

Thank you for your solidarity and we look forward to seeing you on the coach this Thursday.

Kind regards,

The Occupiers of G7 Pavilion Parade

Press release detailing our concerns regarding today’s events

Press Release

Tuesday 30th November 2010

The Occupiers of Pavilion Parade are seriously concerned at a number of events that have occurred in Brighton on the second day of student direct action.

First, despite police reports to the contrary we have received eye-witness reports that tasers were deployed during the policing of today’s march. We condemn in the strongest terms the use of this grossly disproportionate brutality and call for an immediate, independent investigation into the reports.

Second, we condemn the use of kettling in response to non-violent direct action. Specifically, kettling was deployed on roughly thirty people, ranging from the very young to the very old, outside the University of Brighton Grand Parade building. We have received reports people fainting, of young women being singled out and surrounded by riot police, and of passers-by who were not involved in the day’s protests being caught in the kettle. We find all of these highly disturbing. In addition, we condemn the arrest of Simon Englert while he was non-violently demonstrating outside of the kettle. Kettling is immoral and legally bankrupt, but its deployment in sub-zero temperatures is deplorable.

Third, we find reports that the police have been cross checking images of students on the march against University of Brighton’s Student Central database concerning. We demand that the University confirms or denies these reports.

Fourth, we believe that the University’s decision to force all classes to cease by closing the Pavilion Parade, Grand Parade and Moulsecoomb campuses was completely unnecessary and only succeeded in frustrating students attempting to study. It is important to note that in this one act the University has caused vastly more disruption to students’ study than the students occupying G7 Pavilion Parade have caused in the entire week of their occupation.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

For more information please contact

Email: brightonagainstcuts@gmail.com

Blog: brightonresistance.wordpress.com

Twitter: brightonnocuts

Facebook: Brighton University Stop the Cuts