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Middlesex University philosophy protesters suspended
STUDENTS and staff protesting against the closure of Middlesex University's philosophy department have been suspended.
Two professors, one lecturer and several students have been forbidden to enter the Trent Park campus, in Bramley Road, until Friday, when a hearing is due to take place.
University management made the decision last Friday following an 11-day sit-in protest at Mansion House, the main administration building.
After being evicted on Saturday, May 15, following a High Court injunction, the protesters occupied the university library overnight between Thursday and Friday last week.
Ali Alizadeh, 33, one of the students suspended, said: "We were shocked when we heard about this disproportionate action from the management.
"It was a direct reaction to a very peaceful occupation of the library, which took place outside working hours.
"It seems like a reaction caused simply by us standing up to the bullying and intimidation of the management."
The campaigners first occupied Mansion House on May 4 after the university announced it planned to phase out the Centre for Modern European Philosophy over two years.
Middlesex University blamed the decision on insufficient demand for places after being forced to contribute to Government budget cuts of almost £500 million next year.
Paul Manning, security manager at the university, accused students of becoming aggressive towards security staff, causing broken bones and bruising — something the students deny.
Police were called on two days, but did not press charges as the alleged assailants could not be identified.
He said: “Assaults were committed on security staff by individuals from the protest on entering the Mansion building, resulting in serious injuries including broken bones and severe bruising.”
Mr Alizadeh said: "It is interesting they only mentioned this now, so long after it is meant to have happened.
"None of the students behaved violently. That's why the police could not intervene. There was no evidence of a breach of the peace."