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Students complain of racial profiling during Queen’s visit

SECURITY MEASURES: The Queen attended King's College London yesterday to open Bush House

STUDENTS AT King’s College London have complained they were racially profiled and prevented from entering areas of the university campus during the Queen’s visit yesterday.

Various students have expressed their frustration and anger at what they say were deliberate restrictions imposed on individuals targeted as a result of their political activity.

The Queen, who is patron of King’s College, and the Duchess of Cambridge visited the university in a rare joint engagement.

In a statement published on social media by Justice 4 Cleaners, a group which supports the university’s outsourced cleaners and campaigns for them to be brought in house, said: “On 19th March 2019, a minimum of 10 politically active King’s College London students were blocked from entering the university.

“Vague justifications offered by security suggested that the Metropolitan Police had advised the university to ban all students that could be considered a security threat, on the basis of a visit by the Queen to open Bush House.”

The police also took the names of those students “for their own purposes”, according to the group.

A number of King’s College students used social media to voice their views on the news and share their experiences.

One commenter wrote: “KCL have made it very clear that only the cards of specific students have been blocked. Who are these students - those convicted of previous crimes? No - they are racially profiling certain students/targeting ‘activist’ students.”

The university’s intersectional feminist society, said on Twitter: “Two of our committee members had their cards blocked. Campaigning for workers’ rights and the demilitarisation of universities apparently means we’re a ‘threat’.”

Referring to the King’s College London Students’ Union president, one student wrote: “Whilst (not my) president Ahad was meeting the Queen, the students that he’s supposed to represent were being barred from entering their campuses, intimidated by police and brought to tears. Priorities, right Ahad?”

Responding to the accusations, King’s College London said: “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.”

But the university’s statement has not reassured critics.

“This is a weird way of saying you politically profiled specific students and barred them from accessing their education who are majority people of colour,” one Twitter user replied.

Another said: “I was able to get into King’s buildings at the exact times when others where not. Why have you profiled particular students, why were my friends and peers barred from their lessons? Inexcusable treatment of your student community.”

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