Statement from the student occupation at Middlesex University
The student occupation at Middlesex University now covers the entire Mansion Building at Trent Park campus. The occupation was extended earlier this evening in light of continued management refusal to meet us and discuss our opposition to their plans to shut down Middlesex’s world-renowned philosophy department.
Our occupation is in protest at this abrupt, unjustified and unacceptable decision. We want it reversed. Students have been occupying the executive boardroom at Trent Park since yesterday morning. Today, management again refused to meet our representatives or enter discussions with the students affected by their decision to close the philosophy programme.
We affirm that the university is a site for education, not for profit. It belongs to the people who study, teach and work here, not to those who view the institution as a mere instrument for making money or for furthering their careers. As such, we see the extension of our occupation as a restoration of the university to what it should be, and a reversal of what it has become.
We invite everyone to come and visit the occupied Mansion Building at Trent Park and show their solidarity – not just with our campaign, but with all other struggles against education cuts. We view our occupation as an integral part of a wider movement of student protest, and we are proud to have representatives of these other campaigns with us.
We want this site to become an open hub of culture, politics, thought and creativity. We will be organising a cultural programme and a philosophy teach-in, details of which will be released shortly. Everyone who supports our vision and struggle is welcome here.
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Various students, staff and faculty from University of California send solidarity to Mansion House at Middlesex!
More solidarity from University of California Santa Cruz!
Solidarity from Sussex! Keep up the fight, guys. If we’ve learnt anything, its that occupations get the goods.
Also impressive to see you expanding your physical control of the building – that’s something we had difficulty with here.
In solidarity and support I wish you success
+ more Sussex solidarity. Behind you all the way.
And no-one can claim you are just armchair philosophers!!!
You are fighting the best fight you could.
Never give up!
solidarity from Mauritania , I’m following this struggle from far away and happy you’re getting support and hoping that philosophy will be restored.
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From Rada Ivekovic:
Dear Professors Driscoll, Ahmad, House and Esche,
Closing Philosophy at Middlesex University comes as a shock to academia round the world and strikes one as a foolish gesture your university, country and culture might end up being ashamed of. You have a fine, worldwide distinguished department and research centre for philosophy, something to be proud of internationally, and you close it? It will cripple your reputation. Do you really want to be so provincial?
Your team will be remembered as provincial, uninformed, heavily prejudiced ideologically and repressive of academic freedom as well as of knowledge tout court. Your action contradicts the best tradition and the history of Middlesex and of university in general. Is it really in the best interest of your institution? Is this what you want Middlesex to be distinguished through?!
The spot by Prof. Esche on how to commercialize university is particularly alarming.
Please consider revoking the unwise decision of abolishing Philosophy at your University, lest you regret it.
University professor (France)
and member of the College international de philosophie, Paris
Further solidarity from a Sussex occupier.
Well done for taking a stand. The statement that reputation is not quantifiable is perhaps something they will reconsider when they try to further their career on the chop and change education mercenary ladder.
Solidarity in your occupation!
from the students of the Essex Philosophy Department
Solidarity from Pittsburgh, PA, USA! You are in the right.
Solidarity from Adelaide, Australia. Civil society needs philosophy now more than ever. After the financial crisis, you would think education administrators would start to question the existence of business and economics faculties, but no the axe always falls on those who teach people to question, not those who teach people fashionable answers.
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reminds me of the time when we protested to reinstate Keith Shilson as President in 2005. You guys have done the right thing. Cheers
Hang in there. Solidarity.
The SouthBank Activist Network Against the Cuts extends its solidarity to the students of Middlesex University who have occupied the entire Mansion Building at the Trent Park Campus. Students from London South Bank University were present at the rally yesterday afternoon, and were proud to have been witness to the expansion of the existing occupation.
We further support the decision of the Middlesex occupiers to transform the building into a centre for culture, politics, thought and creativity; and welcome the announcement of a philosophy teach-in.
This occupation is part of a wider movement which has been seen around the world, as an answer to attacks on further and higher education, and as an alternative to a profit-driven educational system. We would like to extend our solidarity to all students, teachers and workers who have taken up the fight against cuts and job losses.
Students from the SouthBank Activist Network Against the Cuts
London South Bank University
Solidarity and best wishes from a mathematics staff member at the University of Leicester.
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what a shame..
Brings back reminders of Cat Hill occupation 1992 … which extended to other art colleges in London … believe me they do listen !
Solidarity!! Keep up the fight! In the U.S. on March 4, students rallied all over to Defend Public Education including 10’s of thousands in rallies, strikes and occupations. This is a world wide problem. The economic crisis has given the wealthy who run the governments with an excuse to cut education and give more to the banksters and the military. The only way to prevent this is to build a larger, stronger , more militant movement to defend public services including education. Best wishes for a quick victory!!
Solidarity from the University of Washington!
we’re with you from Nottingham, too. stand up straight and keep going!
Solidarity from Toronto, workers and students alike.
Solidarity from Dunedin, New Zealand. Similar things are happening at the University here but no-one is taking this kind of direct action. Direct action gets the goods! I hope you can extend this to the staff as well!
Solidarity from Lima, Peru. What you are doing is the only right thing to do right now. These cuts are shameful.