We stand in solidarity with the recent events at the University of Sussex. The proposed privatization programme would result in the outsourcing of 235 members of staff at Sussex and would transform the University in a centre of private profit. We, as Essex EAN fully support the movement in Sussex.
Acts of privatization within our campuses can be understood as a continuation of the policies espoused by the coalition government and the neoliberal governments in Europe; pursuing austerity measures to cripple the welfare state and attack social provision for the most vulnerable. In the age of austerity, neoliberal powers use the capitalist crises as an excuse to privatize. This is a trend we are battling to reverse.
Within the student and workers movement, occupation has been a powerful weapon in the struggle against the senseless drive for profit. The occupation of public spaces has made its reappearance as a tactic of these movements, from the Indignados, to Tahrir Square and now in University occupations.
In Essex, the movement has fought and won before. Plans for the privatization of departments such as the International Academy were halted due to the combined pressure of University staff and the student body here. Whilst our campus does not face the threat of outsourcing of its workers nor the closure of our departments in the short term, we understand the threats that lie ahead. However, if in the future, our campus faces a similar programme of privatisation we will follow the lead of Sussex students and staff.
Solidarity to the Sussex Occupation
Essex Education Activist Network