Politically active students at KCL have been barred from entering campus without any explanation from management. Here, we republish KCL Justice for Cleaners‘ statement. There was also a demonstration earlier today against campus securitisation.
On 19 March 2019, a minimum of ten politically active King’s College London students were blocked from entering the University. Vague justifications offered by security suggested that the Metropolitan Police had advised the University to ban all students that could be considered a security threat, on the basis of a visit by the Queen to open Bush House. The police have also taken the names of these students for their own purposes. This ban included all campuses, libraries and cafes, and prevented students from attending exams, work shifts, classes and assessed presentations. When students demanded a response from security management, they claimed ignorance and confidentiality.
The students affected by this are all core organisers of campaigns that have established themselves as effective, successful and resistant to university apathy and reaction. Despite KCL regularly referring to itself as an institution of progressive values, in reality they would rather wall-off the campus to all those who dare to challenge violence and injustice promoted by the University. Their regular defence of free speech and the so-called ‘Chicago Principles’, which has allowed the University to facilitate fascists, murderers and transphobes alike in its lecture theatres, has now been thrown out in the face of students with leftist politics.
The racialised and gendered securitisation of campus also cannot be ignored; the affected students are predominantly women of colour. King’s College London is progressive only in the pages of its marketing brochures; in reality, it perpetuates the same militarisation, racism and sexism that the society of the police and the monarchy uphold.
One student affected said ‘This legally questionable and morally unjustifiable approach to security taken by King’s College London should be opposed by all who support political freedom. This will not reduce our audacity, tenacity or belief in better working conditions, an end to Israeli apartheid in Palestine or a better university and society, free of hypocritical, profiteering university management and irrelevant, undemocratic and aristocratic figureheads alike’.