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Justice for the Farthing Five: end the victimisation of students

University mortar boardIf you’ve been following recent events in the student movement, you may have heard of yet another worrying development at the University of Sussex. The Brighton campus has held a legendary place in the protest movement this year, as students have repeatedly occupied administration buildings in protest at privatisation and weakening of staff terms and conditions.

Now, vice-chancellor Michael Farthing has taken the extraordinary step of expelling five students associated with the occupation from their degrees. Though to be fair, it perhaps isn’t that extraordinary – I wrote about the increasing climate of crushing dissent on campuses a year and a half ago, and it’s got far worse. There is a petition being circulated calling on Farthing to reinstate the students immediately. Anyone who is concerned about academic freedom – or merely the right to protest – should sign.

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