Breaking: Reports of assault as Sussex strike protesters disrupt lecture
They were chanting ‘leave your lectures, join the strikes’
Student protesters have crashed lectures, clashed with students and blocked access to campus for public transport on the first day of the UCU university strikes at Sussex.
The Tab Sussex will be reporting throughout the day on developments and incidents. Here's what's happened so far.
The university releases a statement
A university spokesperson has told The Tab Sussex that "There was a brief incident between students earlier today, which was resolved very quickly.
"University staff were on hand immediately to support our students, as they always would. We have been proud to see the collegiate nature of the Sussex community today, where staff and students have been incredibly respectful of the many different points of view that people have. It's the very spirit that underpins our University."
Students crashed a Psychology lecture, shouting that the students had to join the strikes
UCU protesters interrupt Sussex Psychology Lecture. According to Sussex Supports The Strike, one of their marchers was 'assaulted by a student' when they disrupted a lecture on campus. 'The marcher in question was violently tackled into a wooden table by a larger student. University officials stood by and watched this assault that was only ended by the quick intervention of other marchers.'
Posted by The Tab Sussex on Thursday, February 22, 2018
Only a few hours into the strikes, protesters crashed a Psychology Lecture in Jubilee. They shouted that the students should "join the strike" through the open doors of the lecture theatre, with those in the lecture shouting back that the protesters should "fuck off".
Liam Bolton, a second year International Relations student, was at the front of the group outside the lecture. He tells The Tab Sussex that after marchers opened the doors and began chanting to students to come and join the strike, two students walked over to try and close the doors.
"We stood by the doors and held them at which point one of our marchers was tackled by the larger of the two students from the lecture."
Chloe Morris, who was in the lecture, told The Tab Sussex:"There weren’t many people in my psychology lecture as many probably used the excuse of a strike to have some time off. However, those who did attend wanted to learn.
"I absolutely agree with the right to strike and respect the cause, but I felt that their interruption was very disruptive and did more harm than good."
Another student attending the lecture told The Tab Sussex: "I felt intimidated because I was just doing my thing. It was really awkward but didn’t impact the lecture too much"
According to the Facebook page, Sussex Supports the Strike, one of their marchers "was assaulted by a student when [they] disrupted the lecture". they went on to explain that "the marcher in question was violently tackled into a wooden table by a larger student.
"University officials stood by and watched this assault that was only ended by the quick intervention of other marchers."
Protesters have blocked access for public transport to the University
— Amanda Akass (@amandaakass) February 22, 2018
University students blocked access to campus by blocking the road at the zebra crossing by Falmer Station, leading to disruption to buses attempting to access the university campus.
Brighton & Hove Buses had announced that buses would not be venturing onto campus during the strikes, yet several attempted to complete their journey as normal, before being blocked by students in the road.
Updates to follow as we get them.