Anti-Semitic Violence at UK Universities

On Thursday 27th October dozens of police officers were called to University College London (UCL) to control a violent protest that involved a break-in through windows into a lecture room where a meeting was being held. It finally resulted in Jewish students being barricaded-in because their safety could not be guaranteed.

Screen capture from YouTubeScreen capture from YouTube.

After listening to a talk by Israeli peace activist Hen Mazzig, attendees were forced to remain in the lecture room and wait for police to escort them through a crowd of about 100 demonstrators who had gathered outside and made strenuous efforts to disrupt the talk.

Hen Mazzig described having to speak above the noise of ‘hateful rap music being played on a booming sound system.’ Some police were present, but apparently they were impotent to prevent the disruptive behaviour. After the event the guest speaker was rushed off the campus by police as if ‘escaping a war zone.’

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) responded to these events by contacting both the police and the university about security at the event and the conduct of the protesters – especially their leader, UCLU Friends of Palestine Society President Yahya Abu Seido. The CAA have also referred him to the Metropolitan Police and UCL over anti-Semitic tweets.

Earlier in the year students at King's College London were attacked by demonstrators throwing chairs and smashing windows at a meeting with Ami Ayalon, peace activist and former head of the Israeli secret service. Consequently, there is growing concern over the use of anti-Semitic violence to prevent free speech at UK universities.