I'll be doing a full write-up on my Wordpress blog tomorrow, with photos and videos, but for the time being just a few quick points.
- The presence of riot police with batons, pepper spray, and constantly barking dogs was completely unnecessary and created an atmosphere of aggression and tension. As did the 15 or so police vehicles parked along the road. In my opinion, this was a deliberate attempt to escalate the situation and incite violence.
- Registrar John Duffy apparently barricaded himself inside Sussex House when it was occupied and refused to come out. This was a transparent attempt to try to make the students occupying look like captors when they were not. Shame on him. Students encouraged staff to leave the building and did not intimidate them on their way out.
- I watched from a few feet away as Sussex police shoved, hit, and threw students down to the ground. These students did NOT strike them first. Many people have video of this, and I hope legal and civil action is taken against these officers and Sussex police in general.
- The sound system was a brilliant idea-- we should have one at every demo.
- UCU voted YES to strike action! We will support them all the way. Real consultation, not committees as rubber stamps.
Today was a national day of action, and demonstrations took place at universities all over the UK. To find out more about what happened elsewhere, visit the National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts blog.
- Stop the Cuts organisational meeting - Thursday 5pm Falmer Common Room
- Demonstration outside University Senate - Friday 8.30am Bramber house to show your support for Senators in opposing management's proposals
- Demonstration protesting excessive police presence and violence - Friday, TBA
- March for Jobs - Saturday 12pm The Level, Brighton