Dear Members of the Board of Governors at Middlesex University,
I am shocked by the news of the suspension of two professors of Middlesex University, along with a few students, for the mere exercise of their right to protest against the closure of their department of philosophy.
SOAS has seen forms of student and staff protest last year that went beyond what happened in Midddlesex, with the occupation of the director’s office in his presence. And yet no such sanctions were taken and the crisis could be resolved in a way deemed satisfactory by all.
Is Middlesex University trying to match the UK’s record of tough anti-workers unions policies inaugurated a quarter of century ago? In such case, it will have to face the whole body of teachers and students who understand that what is at stake is their own right to peaceful protest in defence of higher education in the UK.
Professor of Development Studies & International Relations
University of London – School of Oriental and African Studies
London, Russell Square
Phone +44 (0)20 7898 4557