Police were called to King’s College London last night after ‘Action Palestine’ activists allegedly assaulted members of the Israel Society, throwing chairs and smashing windows. The violent scenes took place at a protest against an event where liberal Israeli peace activist Ami Ayalon had been invited to speak. One witness, Esther Endfield, describes the scene:
“Protests by KCL action Palestine at this event was inevitable but it was never inevitable that it would turn violent, not to the point that I have just reported being assaulted to the police (which is also being investigated under a hate crime), not to the point that there were chairs thrown at the room and at me, not to the point where they were so violent that Kings College London windows have been smashed, not to the point where two police cars and two police vans along with 15+ officers came to protect the people inside the room, not to the point that people were running up and down the 4 story building on each floor so set the fire alarms off probably 15+ times, not to the point that I was crying hysterically for over half an hour because I was so terrified, not to the point where my event had to be stopped and the building evacuated because college security and the police were so scared that they would light a real fire and that we wouldn’t know because of the false alarms. When did I become so unsafe in one of the global universities in the world that we can no longer hold an event without being scared for our safety.”
A second witness, Joe Grabiner, reports that the Palestine activists chanted “F*ck Israel”:
“They started shouting loudly (‘Viva Viva Palestina’, ‘Free Free Palestine’, ‘From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free’), banging on the windows of the lecture theatre, pushing Palestinian flags up against the windows and stuff. Someone opens the door to the corridor that abuts the street and the group rush towards the entrance with such force (and continued banging) that they break one of the pains of glass in the door.”
Action Palestine say in a statement:
“It is unacceptable for us as students to stand idle while our University invests in arms companies and cooperates with Israel in “anti-terrorist” strategies that keep perpetrating violence and deaths… We ask you as a student to support the BDS movement and the academic boycott of Israeli institutions until Israel grants Palestinians their basic rights and ends the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza.”
Smashing the windows of a room full of Jewish students is probably not the best way to go about promoting your cause.