Demilitarise King’s

***Sign the open letter that Demilitarise King’s wrote to the principal**

“If the purpose and values of King’s College are to educate and promote skills and research to make the world a better place, why does our institution continue to invest millions of pounds in the companies which make the greatest contribution to the displacement, murder and destruction of human lives? If King’s College is to represent itself as providing answers to ‘world questions’, we must work to actually address the systemic causes of global suffering and examine our own complicity in these practices.”

The Demilitarise King’s campaign had its first stall in the Strand campus on 1st December! Students & academics were shocked to learn about the many forms the arms and military industries are involved with King’s. From pension schemes, direct investments, research & projects, this represents the commercialisation and militarisation of education in pursuit of state and corporate goals.

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Through King’s College Action Palestine’s (KCLAP) research last year, and with the help from our friends at Fossil Free, we found out that King’s has invested around £1.5m in arms companies. The national pension scheme for King’s staff also has fund investments in cluster munitions and land mines. The ethical implications of this go way beyond Palestine. British bombs are playing a key role in Saudi Arabia’s attacks on Yemen, in a conflict in which over 10,000 civilians have been killed.

Where does King’s invest our money? (click on each company to find out more ino)
BAE Systems
Caterpillar Inc.
Elbit Systems Ltd.
General Dynamics
General Electric
Hewlett-Packard Company
Lockheed Martin & more.

The campaign is now under the umbrella of the KCL Anti-Racism Campaigning Network.

For more info on the arms trade, the #StudyWarNoMore report intends to support students concerned about the impact their institutions have on international peace and conflict.

Check-out the Facebook page to keep updated on actions & events and the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) Universities Network blog post about Demilitarise King’s. 

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UN Day of Solidarity with Palestine

29th November 2016 marked the 39th United Nations annual Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On 29th November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181, partitioning Palestine. In 1977, a decade after Israel had completed the full occupation of Palestinian land, the General Assembly passed Resolution 32/40 B, declaring the day of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

This day has traditionally provided an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the unresolved issue of Palestine, and the fact that they are yet to attain their inalienable rights; namely, the right to self-determination, the individual human rights of all people, and the right to return to their homes and land from which they have been displaced.

It is in line with this, that we decided to do a short recording in the SU Lobby in the Strand campus. This will be added to other messages of love and solidarity from other students around the UK and put together in a video which will be shared with students in Gaza and the West Bank.

We believe that as residents of the United Kingdom, and as students from King’s College London, we have a responsibility and duty to show our support and actively support the Palestinian struggle through the tactics of Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS). This is especially true, seeing as both the UK and our university are complicit and have invested in the likes of arms companies that are actively used by Israel, to maintain and prolong the decades-long occupation and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Today and every day we stand with Palestinians and send our message of solidarity to all those fighting for justice, freedom and equality.

We also wanted to share this beautiful video made by the Manchester Palestine Society!

Stop HP! Target the Trade Fair

On 29 November, the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, KCLAP joined London Palestine Action, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, War on Want and Friends of Al-Aqsa at the Excel Centre where Hewlett-Packard (HP) held a big trade show to drum up business from the tech sector. But despite the “Discover” name, attendees were not given the full facts of what HP is doing to Palestinians. That’s where we came in to make sure that attendees who stepped foot into the fair were under no illusions about how HP tracks and puts Palestinians under surveillance.


Why boycott HP?

HP plays a key role in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the prime contractor of the Basel system, an automated biometric access control system employed within Israel’s checkpoints and apartheid wall. The ID cards distributed as part of this system form the basis of Israel’s systematic discrimination against Palestinians. HP technology helps the Israeli navy enforce the siege on Gaza.

HP also provides services to illegal Israeli settlements, manages people for profit in Israeli prisons where torture is systematic. Outside of Israel, HP is the backbone of the US military-industrial complex, tracking migrants and managing prison populations.

You can read more info about HP on the BDS Movement page.

Further information is available from ‘Who Profits’.

KCLAP’s statement in response to Daniel’s Scheuftan visit

This evening, the doors connecting the King’s building and the students’ union lobby were locked, extra security guards were patrolling the Strand campus and the police outside the campus confirmed they had been called for the Israel Society event. This is just another example of how universities brand Palestine activists and Palestine societies as a threat. For this reason, KCL Action Palestine (KCLAP) agreed it was the best decision for our society and the Palestine student movement to not attend the event. From experience, we know that pro-Israel advocacy groups work with Israeli student societies to undermine Palestine solidarity activism on campuses, using aggressive intimidation tactics, Islamophobic abuse and false accusations of antisemitism. They attempt to stifle debate and stigmatise initiatives like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

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Although the SU “allowed” us to protest the talk under the new agreement between KCL and KCLSU, it is well known that Palestine activism on campus is demonised, particularly when challenging the presence of Israeli speakers complicit in human rights abuses. In the past, the college has suppressed student voices and not only failed to respect our right to peaceful disapproval but condemned it.

KCLAP condemns the decision of KCL and KCLSU to provide a platform to Daniel Scheuftan, despite the fact we showed clear evidence of how the event went against the external speaker policy by Schueftan’s promotion of intolerance, racism and hate towards a particular group of people. Once again, it is clear that our university is protecting its own interests and the interests of the groups they receive funding from, caving to outside pressures. Freedom of speech under Zionist lobbyists, a cover for racism and colonialist practices, demonstrates the absolute disparity in power.

You can find more information about the event’s speaker and read the emails we sent to the principal here & here.
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KCLAP considers this evening to be a victory for the society and for the movement because we focused our energy and work in sending love and solidarity messages to our friends in Palestine for the UN Day of Solidarity with Palestine. Look out for the video which will be released soon!

We are also extremely excited to announce the launch of a new campaign:

Demilitarise King’s! dsc07153-1Through KCLAP’s research last year, and with the help from our friends at Fossil Free, we found out that King’s has invested around £1.5 million in arms companies! The ethical implications of this go way beyond Palestine (BAE Systems, for example is well known for selling arms to Saudi Arabia). The campaign is now under the umbrella of the KCL Anti-Racism Campaigning Network. The campaign wants to ensure that King’s divests from arms companies and companies that are complicit in human right abuses/have connections with rogue states or states that break international law and ensure that funding for projects and scholarships don’t come from unethical sources. You can sign and support the campaign here & sign the open letter to the principal here.

For freedom, equality and return.
KCLAP

Continue reading “KCLAP’s statement in response to Daniel’s Scheuftan visit”