350 KCL students sign open letter to principal after alleged ID card deactivation
The letter was made public 12 hours ago
Over 350 students have signed an open letter to the President of King's President, Edward Byrne, protesting the alleged deactivation of certain student IDs during the Queen's visit on Tuesday.
The letter, first signed by KCL UCU Executive committee and KCLSU President, Ahad Mahmood, demands answers as to why students involved in activist groups had their cards allegedly deactivated during Her Majesty's visit on Tuesday.
KCL Justice4Cleaners claims "no less than 10" students involved in activist groups such as Action for Palestine were picked out by KCL and had their ID cards deactivated for security reasons, preventing them from entering uni buildings. At the time of writing, the letter has 366 signatures.
KCL staff and students: SIGN this open letter to the Principal demanding an explanation of yesterday's event, an apology from the administration to students, and a commitment not to engage in such acts of unjustified profiling and exclusion again! https://t.co/VomQ50NZPh
— KCL Justice4Cleaners (@KCLJ4C) March 20, 2019
The letter says: "As KCL staff and students, we are deeply concerned by this preemptive act of exclusion from campus of students without just cause.
"None of the students subject to this exclusion have any record of university misconduct. Such profiling of students is based on the political viewpoints and racial and national identities of students, and violates the commitment of KCL to providing a safe and inclusive academic community and campus for all."
The group also alleges the police have taken the names of students involved "for their own purposes". A Specialist Operations representative from the Metropolitan Police told The King's Tab: "We do not discuss matters of security."
The King's Tab reached out to students claiming to have been directly affected, but received no reply. Group admins from Action for Palestine and Justice4Cleaners refused to put reporters in contact with affected students.
King's tweeted a statement on Tuesday, 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.”
When The King's Tab put specific allegations that student activists and students of colour in particular were being screened, King's said: "We have no further comment on our statement."
You can read the open letter here.
Were you affected by the deactivation of ID cards? DM the King's Tab Instagram – all accounts will be kept anonymous.