Page last updated at 20:05 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Two arrests after Sussex university lock-in protest

Sussex University
The students locked themselves into offices for about five hours

Two people have been arrested following a protest which saw 50 students barricade themselves into University of Sussex offices in Brighton.

Sussex Police said one person was held on suspicion of pushing a security guard to the ground and another was held over an assault on an officer.

Students locked themselves into Sussex House on the Falmer campus on Wednesday in protest at plans to cut 115 jobs.

The university said their actions were "unnecessary and disruptive".

The students left the building at about 1730 GMT following negotiations with police and university staff.

'Oppose all cuts'

About 100 people took part in other protests on the campus.

In a statement, the group said: "We feel that taking this action is our only option to protect our education from cuts.

"We oppose the authoritarian tactics employed by management, just as we oppose all cuts to public services.

"Whether we be students, workers or unemployed, we should not be made to pay for a funding crisis created by an irresponsible, outmoded, and defunct economic system."

The university said the proposal to cut 115 jobs and create 20 new posts was made in November and was the subject of a consultation.

John Duffy, registrar and secretary, said: "This trespass has left damage and caused additional costs to the university which we are assessing. Sussex House is now being returned to proper use for our staff and students.

"This occupation and disruption was not necessary in order to express the concerns of any group on campus.

"We are in consultation with the three campus trade unions, and in regular discussion with the students' union."

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: "There was a proportionate police response to prevent a breach of the peace and to deal with any offences against people or property.

"Two arrests have been made; one for assaulting a security guard who was pushed to the ground as they entered the building and one assault of a police officer."

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