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BREAKING: King's allegedly deactivated student ID cards ahead of the Queen's visit


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King's College London has allegedly deactivated ID cards belonging to student activists ahead of the Queen's visit.

Several members of KCL's activist societies have allegedly had their student ID cards blocked.

Students whose ID cards have been deactivated are barred from entering any of the campus buildings.

Students are accusing the university of politically profiling activists ahead of the royal visit to the Strand campus.

This morning, King's welcomed a visit from the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton for the official opening of Bush House. 

In a now-deleted video, members of KCL Action Palestine claim that several security guards confirmed students were being profiled. They also claim that names were reportedly given to the police, this however is unconfirmed. 

'I think this is disgusting,' one member said 'because I have never done anything physically violating university [rules] and I'm deemed a security threat.

'It's literally because of my political views and this is the precedent that King's are setting. King's are saying that if you stand for social justice [and] if you stand for Palestine, you are a security threat.

'I'm a fee-paying student, I pay £9000 and you're cancelling my card. How can you advocate freedom of speech? How can my lecturers tell me [to] think critically when I'm not allowed to go into university purely because I do not agree with the status quo.'

Another society allege that a student couldn't attend their exam because of the block.

In another deleted video recorded by members of KCL's activist societies, students can be heard asking staff behind the desk whether King's chose 'students who can't go in' for 'security reasons.'

The staff member advises them to speak to management.

Moments ago, King's published a post stating that today's event "demanded the highest level of security." They stressed that parts of the building were not accessible. 

KCL Action Palestine alleges that the university is threatening student safety by sharing names with the police. 

Earlier this week, members of the same society stormed a university council meeting chanting 'Happy Israeli Apartheid Week.' 

They also published a statement accusing the Israel society of cancelling event tickets 'on a racist basis.'

KCL's Justice for Cleaners campaign told TNS that 'a minimum of ten politically active' students were blocked from entering the uni.

In a joint statement, the campaigners said:

'Vague justifications offered by the university suggested that the Metropolitan Police had advised the university to ban all students that could be considered a security threat.

'The Police have also taken the names of these students for their own purposes. 

'When students demanded a response from security management, they claimed ignorance and confidentiality.'

The group claim that the affected students are 'core organisers of campaigns' and 'predominantly women of colour.'

A King's spokesperson reiterated their statement saying:

'We had an event today which demanded the highest level of security and we had to minimise movement through buildings for security reasons. At times some of our buildings were not accessible.'

However, when asked to clarify their statement and challenged whether all student ID cards were deactivated at the same time and to the same building thereby deeming them inaccessible, the university declined to comment.

In their statement, KCLSU said:

'It is concerning if students are being placed under surveillance by their university - this is a place of learning, not a police state, and surveillance has a chilling effect on students' freedom of expression.

'It is especially concerning to us if students of colour are disproportionately being surveilled and profiled as security threats. 

'It is also concerning if access to facilities critical for academic work has been denied without proper information being given to students.

'We unequivocally condemn surveillance, and also serious disruption to education without adequately informing students beforehand.' 

A spokesperson from the Met Police said 'we do not discuss matters of security.'

More to follow

Image credit: KCLAP

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