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Posted on 16 May 2008 at 0:00 GMT

Southampton students blockade university

Protest at student's union's exclusion from university court

4.30 pm 15/05/08

100 Southampton University students have marched through campus and are blockading a university court meeting.

The university has taken the decision to remove the Union President vote from the Vice Chancellor appointment panel.

Today the university court is meeting - the highest decision making body in the university with VC chancellors from other universities, local politicians and councillors and representatives from the University's investors including BAE systems and HSBC, in attendance.

The action started with a march across campus towards the meeting. Students have obstructed the meeting by holding a silent sit in which is blocking building entrances they are wearing gags saying "student's voice silenced".

Clare Blackwell from Southampton Socialist Students says "the occupation a few weeks ago at Manchester has boosted morale about what is possible if decisive action is taken. We are taking similar action today. We are asking why is it that fat cat multinationals like BAE systems, and HSBC, the bank that makes record profits from ripping off students, are allowed a voice in how the university is run but student representatives are not?

It is clear that the right wing management and their big business friends want to get away with cuts and privatisation in the university and are trying to remove the students union as a potential obstacle."

Southampton Socialist Students has a record of fighting fees, cuts and privatisation and standing up for students in Southampton. We organised a protest in February at the constituency office of John Denham the Universities and Skills minister on that drew students from across the south coast. Socialist Students is raising the need to mobilise students to defend the student's union voice but also to raise the need for the students union to build a fight back linking up with campus trade unions and students unions across the country in a mass campaign against fees, cuts and privatisation.

Ends

For more info contact Southampton Socialist Students

Will 07891 773486 wsp104@soton.ac.uk Clare cb1505@soton.ac.uk 07764 577 514 - both involved in the occupation
Nick 07833 681910 nickchaffey@spsr.org.uk - well known Southampton activist
Matt Dobson, Socialist Students National Organiser 07950951241 socialiststudents@hotmail.com

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