Following a rally attended by 200+ people on the afternoon of Thursday 27 May, members of the Save Middlesex Philosophy campaign occupied a third chunk of Middlesex University property. This time, after occupying first the Mansion and then the library at Trent Park, they got hold of the front lawn of the main building of the Hendon campus. They set up a dozen tents and a marquee. Some campaigners referred to it as a sort of temporary ‘camp for internally displaced students and academics’, i.e. people who belong to programmes that have been or will soon be shut down, but who haven’t yet been forced out of the university itself. Others said it announced their intention to lay siege to the university.
Just as last week’s library sit-in expanded the campaign from Philosophy to include other humanities subjects at Middlesex, this latest action was designed to expand out from Trent Park’s humanities programmes to programmes at other Middlesex campuses, and to include supporters from a broader range of other institutions. The rally included speakers from KCL, Sussex, ULU, LSE, UCL, Roehampton, Birkbeck, Right to Work and Plane Stupid, and among the campaigners who spent the night at Hendon on 27 May there were students from Sussex, SOAS, Glasgow, Goldsmiths, and GradCAM Dublin.
Middlesex managers ended the first occupation with a high court injunction. When the police visited the scene of the second occupation, they decided that this injunction didn’t apply, and implied that it had been inappropriately served in the first place. There were plenty of police and community support officers on hand to keep campaigners company during their third occupation, and this time the question of the injunction never came up at all.
Please watch this space for updates on future actions. On the evening of Thursday 3 June, Middlesex University will host the private view of its annual art show, at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.