In the last week, the Stop G4S petition as part of our campaign at King’s College London (KCL) has garnered more than 500 signatures. On the 30th October 2013, a group of KCL students marched from the Strand Campus to the James Clerk Maxwell building against Group4Securior (G4S) being given a £10 million security contract.
Our university; King’s College London, use a variety of G4S’s services including cash collection and access control at the Denmark Hill campus. Their most recent documented human rights abuse has been the maltreatment of detainees in the Mangaung prison in South Africa. The company was accused of “pervasive racism” following a coroner’s report into the death of Angolan detainee Jimmy Mubenga. G4S is also complicit in assisting Israel break the Geneva Convention. Consequently, it is of no surprise to us that G4S was recently shortlisted in the Public Eye Award for the ‘Worst Company of the Year’.
We marched to formally hand the Principal; Rick Trainor, the Head of Administration and College Secretary; Ian Creagh and the Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities; Nick O’Donnell our physical petitions and an open letter. These were signed by academics, student councillors and union representatives who all oppose G4S’s affiliations with King’s College London.
We were instead met with one of Rick Trainor’s secretaries, as he and apparently neither Creagh nor O’Donnell were available. It was guaranteed the petitions would be given to all three.
Despite the fact that we were not able to talk to the principal or his colleagues, our presence was known to all in the building. The James Clerk Maxwell building was placed on lockdown after more than 20 KCL students were peacefully demonstrating against G4S. We had a good response from the general public who were interested in our cause.
We marched to let our voices be heard, to reach the ivory towers of our University’s bureaucracy that believe there is no issue in creating contracts with unethical companies if it means balancing the books.
This demonstration is another example of our readiness as KCL students to fight against any injustice on campus. It comes a day after the KCLSU Student Council passed motions in support of Thursday’s lecturers strike, the KCL Living Wage campaign and the Stop G4S campaign. Until KCL announce the outcome of the security tendering process, we will continue to call for KCL to reject G4S’s bid, to reject renewing its current G4S contracts and we will call for an effective ethical investment policy when acquiring services and research funding.
Sign our petition. Join the call to Stop G4S.
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KCL Action Palestine Committee 2013-14