UCL statement: protest at UCLU event
28 October 2016
UCL and UCLU do not condone acts of intimidation or violence under any circumstances and, as a university with a longstanding radical history, we fiercely support the right to exercise free speech within the law.
The freedom to debate and challenge views is fundamental to the nature of a university. We also acknowledge the right to peaceful protest and we put the safety of our staff and student community at the heart of everything we do.
On 27 October, we did all we could to ensure that the UCLU Friends of Israel Society event could go ahead at UCL, working with our security team and the Metropolitan police.
It was widely advertised and open to the public, and as a result a small but noisy group of protesters attended and occupied the rooms where the event was originally meant to take place. UCL Security found an alternative location and ensured the event went ahead safely. We regret protesters took measures to try to prevent the event from happening but stress that the protest was non-violent.
We are aware that the Metropolitan police attended following accusations of assault and support them fully in their investigations. As this was a public event, it is unclear how many UCL students were present but we are instigating an enquiry and we will take appropriate disciplinary action where there is clear evidence that students may have breached our disciplinary regulations.
Both UCL and UCLU have a code of practice governing the participation of external speakers at events held at UCL. It is clearly stated in UCL's code of practice that the premises will not be denied to any individual on any ground connected with their beliefs. The code also requires speakers to behave lawfully and avoid any action or language which is offensive, provocative or a clear incitement to violence.