The student occupation of the library at Trent Park ended early this morning, as planned.
This second occupation undertaken by the campaign to save philosophy at Middlesex set out to achieve three goals. It aimed to broaden the campaign to include other threatened programmes and disciplines at Middlesex, to stand up to management bullying, and to initiate a new phase of actions and events drawing attention to the scandalous closure of one of the most successful and distinctive philosophy programmes in the UK. The library occupation achieved these goals more or less immediately, and there was no strategic need to prolong it; the campaign will now move on to address its next round of targets.
The library sit-in began shortly before the library was due to close, at 6:45pm on Thursday 20 May. The management responded by sending a new team of security guards to block off all access to the building, and by immediately calling the police. Four policemen arrived around 8pm, and spoke for a couple of minutes with the whole group of protestors, at the entrance to the library. A few minutes later the police decided that the injunction obtained by the University on Friday 14 May did not apply to this new occupation, and left the protestors undisturbed. The protestors spent the night in the library and then left the building shortly before it was due to open, around 8am. No students or researchers were prevented from using the library.
At this point it is already clear that the management attempt to close down Philosophy at Middlesex has backfired – and will continue to backfire – in spectacular fashion. We continue to receive scores of new letters of support. The Middlesex Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy is rapidly building new links with other institutions in London, in the UK and in Europe. The CRMEP will emerge from this campaign stronger and more resilient than it was before it began.
Everyone who supports the campaign should check this website for updates on future actions in the next couple of days.
The Campaign to Save Philosophy at Middlesex
Friday 21 May 2010.