The two and a half week occupation of a Brighton University building has formally ended today.
A group of students took over a lecture hall in the Pavilion Parade building on November 24, during a mass demonstration against the rise in tuition fees in the city centre.
The group was one of several throughout the country to stage sit-ins, and received messages of support from around the world.
However, although the students have now left the lecture hall, they say their protest will continue – despite the Government winning its vote to increase fees on Thursday.
One of the students, Jade Taafe, said: “We’ve decided to go because we feel that the occupation can go on for much longer without us physically being in the room.
“The main reason for this occupation was not only to protest and reclaim a public space of our own but also to have a base where we can organise, plan and be pro-active. We now feel that we have made enough connections with each other, the public and other unions that we can carry on this movement without being in one space.
“One of the highs has been knowing that we are being taken seriously. We are not a generation of layabouts, but of active, passionate demonstrators who stand up for what we believe is right. Even if the media call us violent vandals we know that we are doing the right thing, and can only hope that many others will see that too instead of blindly following press.
“It was also uplifting to see the great numbers of people rallying together for this cause and the huge amount of solidarity shown.
“The low was definitely hearing the outcome of the vote and the numbers at which they were divided. I actually cried at the news, shouted from a megaphone, whilst facing a line of police.
“Our plans are now to continue protesting against the cuts and to keep our movement strong; building up our contacts with other universities, unions and others who will be affected by the cuts. Though many mention that this is our last chance it most certainly isn’t. This is only the beginning and we will not stand for elitism.”
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