What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
26 views
26 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
60 views
60 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
100 views
100 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
87 views
87 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
116 views
116 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
159 views
159 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
119 views
119 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
255 views
255 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
198 views
198 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
210 views
210 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
241 views
241 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
14 views
14 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
241 Views

Management gets heavy-handed

Riot police equipped with pepper spray, batons and attack dogs were used during the demonstration at Sussex House. (Photo: Anja Berglund)

Those of you that noticed the fleet of riot vans and police cars surrounding Sussex House last Thursday may have wondered if some disastrous or imminent threat had just been announced or maybe that Sussex House had been the scene of some hostage-taking scenario.

Whatever the reasons, surely such a large police presence would require serious justification; surely it was a proportional response to some real danger?

Yet to those who were at the protest, it was clear that such a police presence was far from proportionate – it was a completely overblown and aggressive response to a peaceful demonstration by students and staff about the mismanagement of university finances.

All that was missing was for snipers to line the rooftops, though the police cameramen (the so-called Forward Intelligence Team) recording the whole event did enough to make you feel watched.

Our university management called in the dogs, as it were. As protesters had already occupied parts of Sussex House, a heavy police barrier blocked the remainder of us outside.

During the remaining hours some students were arrested, others handcuffed and cautioned, and many others prodded, hit, verbally abused and intimidated. To say that the police reaction to this protest was gross and overblown is an understatement.

I personally witnessed a student attempt to stand in front of one police recorder who was then violently thrown out of the way down a hill. Another student who was trying to shield his face was bundled downhill by police, thrown to the ground, and handcuffed.

Unsurprisingly, riot police used the scuffle as a pretext to try and drag a student out of Sussex House. Violence against violence is bad enough, but violence against peaceful protestors is abhorrent and not remotely justifiable.

Josh Jones, USSU Education officer, said, “The violent tactics used by Sussex police on demonstrators will not surprise anyone who has attended other political demonstrations. Such disproportionate methods seem to have gradually become the norm in the UK.”

He certainly has a point. The prominence of over-aggressive police tactics to control protests has been made undeniably clear since the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protest last year.

He was murdered by police simply for being in the wrong place in the wrong time, and the police attempted to cover up their part in killing a man who had nothing to do with the protest at all.

Jones went on to say that “what is most shocking is that this act of brutality appears to have been carried out with university management’s full consent.”

Though the actions of the police in this case are cause for great concern, they will carry out any ‘job’ with the same cold indifference– their job is not to question the policy. Who really is to blame, as we all know, is the management of the university.

Instead of seeking to negotiate the situation they saw red. They know well that those involved in the protest have absolutely no intent to either cause damage to the building and least of all for anyone to get hurt.

In my experience, university security have been amicable to student protesters (their jobs are under threat too!) and despite this have successfully managed to control previous occupations without the need for an excessive police presence.

Students have managed to converse with security even in the midst of what the management would call an “emergency.”

I do not think the same can be said for some of the nasty and abusive police officers who attended yesterday’s demonstration.

Violence and aggression breeds more violence and more aggression. A usually passive person could understandably become agitated when faced with a row of heavily protected, baton-bearing police officers with constantly barking and straining attack dogs.

The occupation on March 3rd saw the first instances of violence in any of the protests since the proposals for cuts were announced, with many blaming the aggressive tactics used by management and the police. (Photo: Anja Berglund)

But then, that was the whole point, wasn’t it? The dogs, the riot police, all of it was staged to escalate the demonstration into violence.

Not only were the management responsible for the events that culminated in the arrest and detention of some students, they also went immediately on the offensive, gaining an injunction which will make it a criminal offence to gain unauthorized access to any university buildings. What exactly constitutes “unauthorized” access will, naturally, be determined by the management when it suits them.

In terms of the future of the campaign against cuts to education, this injunction will make it possible for any person ‘occupying’ to be physically dragged out and face prosecution. With University College Union (UCU) planning to go on strike, this means that staff and students could theoretically – and likely – be pulled out of buildings and arrested whenever the management claims they have no right to be there.

Where will this line be drawn? And by whom? This sets a dangerous precedent of the management resorting directly to police force to quell legitimate demonstrations.

The management want to criminalise people who have been fighting against the cuts to the university. When the university press releases talk of management being ‘engaged’ in dialogue—what they mean is ‘dialogue’ on their terms and their terms only.

University committees and governing bodies are nothing more than a rubber stamp to them.

This injunction will not stop these kind of things from happening in the future. Now that UCU have decided to go on strike, it seems unlikely that the management will engage in dialogue.

They will use their power and influence to silence anyone who challenges them, by any means
necessary.

Shocking scenes of police brutality may become frequent as the fight against cuts intensifies. The battle lines are well and truly drawn.

This article was written by Mark Jenner & Tabitha Rohrer

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
26 views
26 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
60 views
60 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
100 views
100 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
87 views
87 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
116 views
116 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
159 views
159 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
119 views
119 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
255 views
255 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
198 views
198 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
210 views
210 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
241 views
241 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
14 views
14 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
10 views
10 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018
Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
13 views
13 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
26 views
Arts
26 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
60 views
Arts
60 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
56 views
Film & Theatre
56 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
86 views
Arts
86 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
82 views
Campus News
82 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
119 views
News
119 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
100 views
Arts
100 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
87 views
Interview
87 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
118 views
Lifestyle
118 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
116 views
Lifestyle
116 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
159 views
Arts
159 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
119 views
News
119 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
255 views
Arts
255 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
188 views
Film & Theatre
188 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
198 views
Sports
198 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
210 views
Arts
210 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
241 views
Arts
241 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1298 views1
Campus News
1298 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
14 views
News
14 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

The court of appeal has quashed sentences handed to 3 fracking protestors calling them "manifestly excessive". Jail sentences of 15- 16 months were given to the three…

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit
News
18 views
News
18 views

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, gave a talk on campus. Known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community, he spoke about free speech under attack and…

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
10 views
News
10 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018

The NUS has expressed its support for a national referendum on the final Brexit deal, also referred to as a ‘People’s Vote’. This came after Labour MPs…

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
13 views
Campus News
13 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

An open letter started by Sussex academics has gained over 1,000 signatures. The letter, entitled ‘Open letter from UK academics: The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
30 views
National News
30 views

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
23 views
National News
23 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
46 views
Music
46 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
59 views
Arts
59 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100
Music
95 views
Music
95 views

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100

Ryan Bridgewater - October 5, 2018

Released 28th September Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download   The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced…

News
73 views

Maniac: a madcap adventure into troubled minds

Olek Młyński - October 5, 2018

With the release of Maniac, Netflix once again proves itself as an artistic powerhouse. This mini-series is a whirlwind of creativity containing often confusing, madcap ideas. But,…

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign
Sports
75 views
Sports
75 views

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign

James Cohen - October 4, 2018

In 1988 Nike premiered their, now infamous, “Just Do It” campaign, showing 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge. 30 years and a lot of…

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future
Science
118 views
Science
118 views

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future

ecrm20 - October 4, 2018

My project is about how we can explain the predictions made by machine learning algorithms. For example, if we have an algorithm that tells us whether an…