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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2010

'Sussex Six' result

Last week, students at Sussex University protested outside the disciplinary hearings of the 'Sussex Six'. The students, who are being punished for supposedly being 'ringleaders' of an occupation in March against job cuts, were facing a range of charges which could theoretically have resulted in them not being allowed to complete their degrees.

Admitting that there was insufficient evidence for most of the charges, the disciplinary committee only upheld that the six students were guilty of "conduct injurious to the academic or administrative activities of the university". They have been told that they must now pay a fine to the university and write a letter to three members of staff acknowledging the possibility that they could have felt intimidated during the occupation. Considering the massive response in support of the Six, this was probably the only result that could save management further embarrassment.

Seven hundred staff and students held a demonstration outside management's building followed by a week long occupation and trade unionists across the country sent in messages of protest. Management has backed down significantly and this is certainly a victory for Sussex Stop the Cuts campaign and the struggle to defend the right to protest. However, the plans to cut over 100 jobs and vital services at Sussex remain unchanged and the movement needs to continue in full force to fight this.

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