Students protest IDF presence on King’s campus
Students from Goldsmiths, SOAS, King’s College London (KCL), and other London universities protested outside of the Strand campus against a talk hosted by both KCL and UCL’s Israeli societies.
The talk was led by Lt. Col Dror, a member of the Israel Democratic Forces (IDF), who led an IDF mission in Syria.
Students from Palestinian societies at various London universities questioned the military presence on campus and held a demonstration against King’s College London’s compliance with IDF policies.
In an open statement issued by the KCL Action Palestine Society, the society commented on IDF involvement in Palestine, “Just this past week, the IDF have bombarded the besieged Gaza in occupied Palestine; killing 34 Palestinians… We stand by the side of Palestinian peoples who are now facing the concerted onslaught of right-wing forces of the region.”
KCL security closed off all the doors to the Macadam building where the talk was going to be held in anticipation of this demonstration and students from the Action Palestine Society were not allowed to enter.
One of the protesters commented, “King’s is preventing students from accessing buildings and talks and in doing so they are complicit with Israel.”
In fact, some of the members of the Palestine society had their tickets to the event cancelled on short notice.
A member of the society told London Student, “I had bought a ticket to challenge the speaker and I wanted to converse with the speaker. The ticket was cancelled half an hour before the event and no explanation was offered.”
The society further commented on KCL’s involvement with Israel, “Our universities’ complicity with Israel settler colonialism is not only hosting speakers such as Dror. In recent years we have seen the increased militarization of our university’s research and development projects, as well as their involvement and investment in the arms trade.”
There is an increasing consensus amongst student activists to demilitarise KCL and stop the university’s affiliations with the Israeli military.