EXCLUSIVE: KCL evacuated after smoke bombs were set off on campus and security guards injured
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Students at King's College London have been evacuated from the Strand after violent protestors broke into campus and set off smoke flares. Earlier this evening, a protest was held in response to the Libertarian Society's guest speakers Carl Benjamin and Yaron Brook. A draft letter published anonymously accuses Benjamin of being aligned with far-right groups such as the English Defense League and Milo Yiannopoulos. In 2016, a scheduled talk by Brook at Exeter University was relocated after the event was interrupted by students. The letter points out that Brook holds racist and Islamophobic views, in particular, he equated a Muslim ban to self-defence in a podcast titled 'What do you think about the immigration crisis in Europe?' Event organiser Danny Al-Khafaji revealed that KCLSU officials changed the event to student-only admission at the last minute. The Libertarian Society was asked to reschedule the event as not enough security could be guaranteed, it is possible that King's already anticipated protestors as the above letter asking for the event to be withdrawn was addressed to the Chief Executive of KCLSU Mo Wiltshire. The peaceful protest quickly turned violent as Antifa protestors arrived at the scene and began assaulting university staff. There have been reports of smoke bombs and flares being set within the Strand campus. An ambulance was seen at the university entrance. Footage published online shows a group of seven protestors storming into the Edmond J. Safra lecture theatre. The event was cancelled after the moderator was threatened and police were called to the scene at around 6:50 pm. Third-year English student Carys Hughes recorded a hooded figure running away from a smashed window pane and across the Quad shouting "not on our campus."
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A King’s College London spokesperson said:
‘Last night’s event organised by King’s College London’s Libertarian Society had to be cancelled after protestors violently forced their way into the venue. The Police attended and we are fully co-operating with their investigation. We absolutely condemn the use of violent protest in any situation.
‘The university and Students' Union will be reviewing the incident to decide on appropriate action to be taken.’
Update 3:55 PM:
Principal Ed Byrne released a statement confirming that a full police investigation is being launched.
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