Open Letter concerning Alfie Meadows from Middlesex students and staff

The following letter was sent to the Guardian and the THES, but both have declined to publish it.


We, current and former students and staff of Middlesex University, wish to make plain our disgust at the behaviour of the Metropolitan police at the demonstration against tuition fee rises in London on 9th December. A Middlesex student, Alfie Meadows, sustained life-threatening injuries and underwent brain surgery as a result of an attack by the police. Protesters wishing to leave the demonstration had been told by police to exit via Whitehall, where many were then kettled and attacked. At around 6pm, the police launched a series of unprovoked charges, using horses, truncheons and shields on protesters trapped in Whitehall. Hundreds of peaceful protesters were lined up on the south side of Whitehall and witnessed these attacks.

Over the last month, we have been witness numerous times to police attacks on young protesters, many of school age, with nothing to defend themselves but their passion, anger and sense of injustice. The spectacle of brute, armed force marshalled against the young holds up an unflattering mirror to the society that condones it.

We would also like to draw attention to the disparity between the reportage and the images of Thursday’s protest. Television reporters relentlessly described the students as violent, while continually showing footage of police officers beating protesters. Do the broadcast media think that people are not intelligent enough to perceive the contradiction between what is said by reporters and what is shown via recorded images? The widespread and deliberate police provocation of protesters went largely unreported. It is also a mockery of justice to portray damage to a royal vehicle as having more importance than a potentially lethal assault by a police officer on an unarmed student.

Finally, we hope that the Government will now recognise that the problems its absurd approach to the funding of education are now generating are political problems, and cannot be resolved by the use of police force. If a Government seeks to rely on overwhelming force to maintain its position, then it will not take long for its legitimacy to crumble.

Zain Ahsan, BA student, Philosophy

Ali Alizadeh, PhD student and Visiting Lecturer, Philosophy

Éric Alliez, former Professor, Philosophy

Nisha Amin, MA student, Marketing

Tunç Aybak, Programme Leader, International Politics

Robin Bale, Phd student, Fine Art

Sarah Baker, Lecturer, Media and Cultural Studies

Julia Bard, Visiting Lecturer, Journalism

Richard Barry, Lecturer, Psychology

Anindya Bhattacharyya, former MA student, Philosophy

Richard Bornat, Emeritus Professor, Computing

Sarah Bradshaw, Principal Lecturer, Development Studies

Matthew Bury, Senior Lecturer, Design and Technology

Maggie Butt, Head of Media

Stephen Caldwell, BA student, Philosophy

Matthew Charles, Lecturer, Philosophy

Uracha Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, Lecturer, Business School

Cara Clancy, former MA student, Philosophy

Billy Clark, Senior Lecturer, English Language

John Coles, Programme Leader, Interior Architecture

Noyale Colin, PhD Student, Performing Arts

Katherine Corbett, BA student, Philosophy & MUSU Arts and Education Chair

Delia Cortese, Senior Lecturer, Religious Studies

Elizabeth Cotton, Senior Lecturer, Human Resource Management

Judith Cowan, PhD student, Fine Art

Olga Cretu, PhD student, Business School

Virginia Crisp, Lecturer, Media

Bojana Cvejic, former PhD Student, Philosophy

Anne Daguerre, Lecturer, Human Resource Management

Nadia Dalbani, BA student, Philosophy

Christina Delistathi, Senior Lecturer, Translation

Ferdinand Dennis, Lecturer, Creative and Media Writing

Karl Denson, BA student, Television Production

Mehmet Ali Dikerdem, Principal Learning Development Tutor, Institute for Work

Based Learning

Donna Edwards, BA student, Education and Philosophy

David Etherington, Principal Researcher, Department of Business and Management

Tom Eyers, former PhD student, Philosophy

Kate Fivash, BA student, Graphic Design

Vivienne Francis, Senior Lecturer, Journalism

Rory Gallagher, BA student, Fine Art

Nicola Goodchild, former BA student, Philosophy

Andrew Goffey, Senior Lecturer, Media, Culture and Communication

Raphaelle Gosden, BA student, Photography

John Grahl, Professor, Business School

Peter Hallward, former Professor, Philosophy

John Hammond, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics & Middlesex University UCU

Branch Secretary

Usama Hasan, Senior Lecturer, Business Information Systems

Sarah Hazell, BA student, Fine Art

Yaiza Hernández Velázquez, former PhD student, Philosophy

Dave Hill, Professor, Education

Johann Hoiby, BA student, Philosophy

Sian Howard, BA student, Fine Art

Elizabeth Lebas, Reader, Visual Culture

Aoife Macnamara, Director of Programmes, Fine Art

Manojkumar Iyer, President, Middlesex University Students’ Union (MUSU)

Gizem Zeynep İnceoglu, former MSc student, Business School

Irem Inceoglu, Research Assistant, Institute for Work Based Learning

Lucy Irving, Lecturer, Psychology

Ian Jakobi, former MA student, Philosophy

Charles Johnson, BA student, Music

Kieron Johnson, former BA student, Sonic Arts

Peter Kapos, former PhD student, Philosophy

Mark Kelly, Lecturer, Philosophy

Christian Kerslake, Senior Lecturer, Philosophy

Eleonore Kofman, Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship

Ben Little, Lecturer, Media and Cultural Studies

Jo Littler, Senior Lecturer, Media and Cultural Studies

Rachel Malik, Senior Lecturer, English Literary Studies

Andrew McGettigan, former PhD student, Philosophy

Farah Mendlesohn, Reader, Media

Whitney Mensah-Parker, BA student, Philosophy

Gregory Meredith, BA student, Philosophy

Kevin Morris, Deputy Director, Professional Development

Claudio Morrison, Senior Research Fellow, Human Resource Management

Kathleen Mullaniff, Senior Lecturer, Fine Art

Ozlem Onaran, Senior Lecturer, Economics and Statistics

Ngozi Onyejeli, Lecturer, Human Resource Management

Peter Osborne, former Professor, Philosophy

Dan Ozarow, PhD student, Business School

Rosa Nogués, former PhD student, Philosophy

Manuel Padovan, Chair of the School of Health and Social Sciences

Carola Palacios, Senior Lecturer, Theatre Arts

Constantina Papoulias, Senior Lecturer in Culture and Communication

Wesley Phillips, former PhD student, Philosophy

Keith Piper, Reader, Fine Art and Digital Media

Sebastiano Piva, BA student, Film, Video & Interactive Arts

Nina Power, former PhD student, Philosophy

Dáša Raimanová, BA student, Fine Art

Gianni Raineri, Senior Lecturer, New Media

Leena Robertson, Principal Lecturer, Education

Ian Roper, Principal Lecturer, Business School

Maria-Louise Rosbech, BA student, Philosophy

Stella Sandford, former Senior Lecturer, Philosophy

Nic Sandiland, Lecturer, Fine Art

Ian Saville, Visiting Lecturer, Theatre Arts

Tracy Sealey, BA student, Philosophy

Sylvia Shaw, Senior Lecturer, English Language

Edgar Schröder, Senior Lecturer, German

Javed Anjum Sheikh, MUSU Postgraduate and Research Students Officer

Kulwant Singh Sandhu, Senior Lecturer, Business Information Systems

Tamara Sivanandan, Head of Dept of Social Sciences

Matt Stern, BA student, Television Production

Vangeesa Sumanasekara, former BA student, Philosophy

Aaron Tan, former MA student, Philosophy

Hannah Tattersall, BA student, Philosophy

Spyros Themelis. Lecturer, Education

John Timberlake, Programme Leader, BA Fine Art

Demi Tofallis, former BA student, Primary Education

Pompilia Tudor, BA student, Journalism and Communication Studies

Jan Udris, Middlesex UCU Branch executive

Martin Upchurch, Professor of International Employment Relations, Business School

Hoi Yen Voong, BA student, Philosophy

Rebecca Walker, BA student, Dance

Josefine Wikström, former MA student, Philosophy

Rebecca Woodford-Smith, PhD student, Performing Arts

Sara Wright, Resources Officer, School of Health and Social Science

(116 signatures)

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15 Responses to Open Letter concerning Alfie Meadows from Middlesex students and staff

  1. hellyn Goodwin says:

    The incident of Alfie Meadows vs Police Officer.
    The Police Officer who struck the blow should be charged with GBH. If he/she was a citizen this would be reported at such in the media, but the assault is deemed ‘lawful’ as the offender had a helmet and police uniform and his baton as uniform issue. The victim had his skull as his only protection for his brain the offender was ‘going equipped’ to cause harm not to use as ‘much force is necessary’.
    This is wholly unacceptable and the Police should be held accountable for the assault brought about by Kettling tactics, it is like herding cattle in for slaughter.

  2. barry curtis says:

    I was on the demo and saw some aggressive and provocative behaviour on both sides, but the police were out of control on several occasions and its surprising that there weren’t more casualties of this kind. The BBC reporting of the event was shameful and their handling of the complaints has been poor.

  3. Pingback: Open Letter concerning Alfie Meadows from Middlesex students and staff « The Global Awakening

  4. theglobalawakening says:

    Thank you for your statement, i have published the letter on my blogs in hope to raise awareness, kindest regards Antony

  5. Nils Boray says:

    I watched live streaming of this and generally what I saw was people throwing sticks at the police.

    Did you realise the royal car had someone in it by the way ? Like the future head of state ? You’re not seeing the obvious – and much as I agree with your cause, the general public are seeing the obvious, and are losing sympathy with the cause because of stupid tactics at protests.

    Swinging from the Union Jack at the cenotaph is like pissing on the grave of the nations’ grandfathers – how the hell are you supposed to turn that into good publicity ?

    This young man has been injured because he’s been hit by a truncheon. Truncheons do injure people – not usually so seriously – but it’s hardly a surprise.

  6. Isla dowds says:

    Have you tried Indy? Maybe via johann hari ? Cd be because of investigation they won’t publish did they not say?

  7. Pingback: Student Protest roundup | Progressive Geographies

  8. Dante says:

    Nils Boray says:
    15 December 2010 at 20:58
    should have been born 50 years ago in the Soviet Union.

    I am not British, but come another country in Western Europe and can with honesty say that I am disgusted with the way handled the situation. Clearly Nils Boray is the kind of person that is think he is able to justify police and state violence domestically and internationally. In any sane country, the nations’ grandfathers would have burned the Union Jack themselves, if they’d seen how that flag is being used!

    Shame on you Nils!

  9. Bobby says:

    I’m sorry to here that my friend Alfie Meadows has been hurt in which I must say had to have been an unprovoked attack on Alife. This is because he is such a kind hearted and liked soul by everyone that has ever met him and I think that the Police in question should be disgusted with their behaviour!

  10. Pingback: Open Letter concerning Alfie Meadows from Middlesex students and staff — National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts

  11. Pingback: UK [December] Open Letter concerning Alfie Meadows «

  12. Pingback: Open letter about Alfie Meadows from Middlesex students and staff | Coalition of Resistance Against Cuts & Privatisation

  13. Pingback: Terence Eden has a Blog » A (Virtual) Blockade of Parliament

  14. Robert says:

    The Right to Peaceful Political Protest is a Fundamental Human Right.

    Better the Resignation of a Government than Poor Quality Government Policies

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