At 8pm on Friday 14 May 2010, Middlesex University management served a High Court injunction to end a twelve-day student occupation of the Mansion building at Trent Park.
The occupation began on Tuesday 4 May, when Philosophy students gathered to protest the management’s abrupt decision to close their unique and successful programmes. The occupation quickly succeeded in focusing remarkable levels of national and international attention on the scandalous situation at Middlesex.
The injunction came into effect at 8am on Saturday 15 May. The students finally decided to end their occupation on Saturday afternoon so as to join a rally, outside the Mansion, in support of the campaign to save philosophy at Middlesex. During the rally, Tariq Ali and members of the campaign spoke out forcefully against the management’s decision to close the programmes, the way this decision was taken, and the way its consequences and implications have been handled.
Today the University management had a clear choice. They could have continued a process of negotiation with the students that management initiated, belatedly and reluctantly, after immense international pressure, on Thursday 13 May. They could have discussed concrete steps for the renewal of MA and PhD recruitment. They could have considered, with their enthusiastic students and staff, options for redesigning and relaunching the BA programme in Philosophy.
Or else: they could have made an appeal to the High Court in order to gain the legal power to drive their students out.
True to form, the management has made its decision. Faced with students who were determined to protect their subject and the future of humanities teaching at Middlesex, management decided to treat them like criminals. Rather than talk to them face to face about the renewal of their programmes, management decided to bully them off the campus.
Middlesex management has been bullying its staff and students for many years now. As everyone knows, the power of a bully ends when the people he intimidates band together and confront him. Middlesex philosophy students have taken a first step towards such confrontation: we appeal to other students and staff, at Middlesex and elsewhere, to join us in this struggle.
This occupation is over; the campaign continues.
Please check this website (www.savemdxphil.com) for future events and regular updates.
The Campaign to Save Philosophy at Middlesex
Statement posted on Campaign to Save Philosophy at Middlesex website
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