KCL Israel Society talk descends into chaos

Chairs were thrown and windows were broken in KCLSU

A KCL Israel Society talk was stopped by police last night after it descended into violence. 

The KCL and LSE Israel Societies hosted a talk with Admiral Ami Ayalon, a former head of Israel’s secret service who is now a peace activist, at KCLSU yesterday evening.

Protesters allegedly set off fire alarms in the Macadam Building repeatedly, and threw chairs at the room and at members of the Israel society – damaging King’s College property and resulting in the perpetrators being reported to the police.

The societies had anticipated some form of protest, and campus security and safe space officers were arranged to be present.

More than 15 police officers coming into the room and the Macadam building was evacuated due to fears of further violence.

The KCL Israel Society posted a statement on their Facebook page describing the events and apologising to the 200+ attendees.

They said: “I’m truly sorry that it turned violent and to the 150 of you that got turned away because only 56 people being allowed into the room.

“Thank you for coming along and giving an Israel society a chance to have its voice heard. Despite us being shut down early I heard that he was actually a great speaker and I wish I could have been in there to listen.

“I hope that in the future that no student society event ever gets violent and looking forward to seeing you all at the next event.”

A statement later posted on the Union of Jewish Students website said: “There can be no justification for the events last night at KCL.

“The KCLSU Israel society were hosting an event about peace and were greeted by violence and intimidation. The fact that the police had to be called by the university in order to protect students from fellow students is a disgrace.

“It is however important to note that these acts were caused by a loud minority. Just 25 people managed to disrupt an event attended by nearly 60 while over 100 others who wished to hear the speaker and engage positively were turned away as there was no more space for them.

“Lastly we would like to commend the organisers of last night’s events for their commitment throughout. The intimidation of last night will not stop Jewish students across the country from ensuring that campus can be presented with a balanced debate about Israel.”

More to follow.