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Written by Student Rights on 15 November 2012 at 4pm

Conservative MP attacked at the University of Sussex

Yesterday saw yet another example of how an aggressive and violent minority can impose their views on others on our university campuses after a Conservative MP had to be escorted away by the police following an attack on his entourage.

The MP for Hove Mike Weatherley and a number of his staff visited the University of Sussex after he was invited to give a talk by the university’s Conservative Association about new anti-squatting laws that he has helped introduce.

However, on arrival at university’s Falmer campus Mr Weatherley was confronted by a number of violent protestors, one of whom Mr Weatherley claims tried to punch him.

Following this the event was abandoned as around 50 protestors pelted the MP with fruit, eggs, and in some cases, rocks. One of his staff had her arm crushed in a door and another was hit in the neck by a stone.

Chanting slogans includingMike Weatherley is getting lynched” and “One solution, execution”, the demonstrators chased Mr Weatherley, forcing campus security to barricade him into a room for his own safety until the police arrived.

He was then driven off-campus by police officers as the group behind the demonstration “blocked, hit and chased the van”, something they described as “an amazing day out”.

University authorities have responded to this disgraceful behaviour by stating that they were “appalled to hear that Mike Weatherley was prevented from speaking on campus by a group of protestors – not our students”.

Despite this, serious questions will need to be asked at the University of Sussex as to how a group of determined and violent individuals were able to intimidate an elected official from speaking.

Students and speakers should never have to face intimidation no matter how unpalatable we find their views.

Those involved in this protest have simply demonstrated their inability to use reason or critical thinking to debate with their opponents, something that university is supposed to encourage.