Student bashing by Professor Griffith

There is an article by JA Griffith, Professor of Law at the London School of Economics, in New Statesman magazine today. Professor Griffith provided pro bono legal support to some of the ten during the trials and appeals. John Griffith and Ralph Miliband, also on the staff at the LSE,  experienced the expulsion of staff and students during and after the May events of 1968.  They recently founded the Council for Academic Freedom and Democracy (CAFD).

In the piece, Professor Griffiths says, in part:

Perhaps at Liverpool it is more easy to understand why the real issues are already almost forgotten. For, not surprisingly, the sentences have hit the headlines. The parallel with Robin Blackburn’s dismissal from the staff at LSE is obvious. At Liverpool one student was expelled, seven were suspended for two years and two were suspended for one year. For many, perhaps all, of those suspended for two years the sentence is equivalent to expulsion. It is now six weeks since some 170 other students stated in writing that they also took part in the sit-in and the university is contemplating proceedings against them also. So we may see the first mass expulsions from a British university.

And all this is for what? The 10 students  were charged with ‘conduct which was detrimental to the discharge of the duties of the university’ in that they occupied the Senate House and excluded the staff of the university with the intention of hampering the discharge of those duties. It was not suggested that, during the days of the occupation, damage was done or that those charged were guilty of physical violence. The occupation was, on any definition, peaceful though inconvenient to the administrators.

Read the full text in Documents here.

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Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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