Three strikes and out for UEL's 'Mr Mayhem'

July 30, 2009

The anthropology professor dubbed "Mr Mayhem" for his role in the G20 Summit protests in the spring has been dismissed by the University of East London.

An internal disciplinary hearing at UEL found Chris Knight guilty of three counts of gross misconduct.

The professor had advocated violence in media interviews prior to the summit in London's Docklands on 2 April, the panel found.

At the time, London's Evening Standard newspaper quoted him as saying that if the police wanted "violence, they will get it ... if they press their nuclear button, I'll press mine".

He was suspended by the university on 26 March. Since then, some 600 people have signed a petition calling for his reinstatement.

A UEL investigating committee had earlier found that Professor Knight "clearly advocated damage to banking institutions and violence against the police ... and made no attempt to state that such views were personal to him".

The finding was confirmed by the disciplinary panel last week, which said the interviews constituted gross misconduct.

Following his suspension, he had continued to give press interviews and had visited the campus on 1 April for the Alternative G20 conference he had organised, despite being banned from the premises.

UEL submitted that this constituted gross misconduct through serious insubordination, and the charge was upheld.

The third charge related to Professor Knight's publication on his personal website of documents relating to Martin Everett, UEL's former vice-chancellor.

The panel also upheld this charge.

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