The King's chapel service went went on uninterrupted despite the protestChris Lorde with permission for Varsity

Pro-Palestine activists held a “die in” protest at King’s College today, calling on the College to cut ties with arms companies, as part of an ongoing student campaign.

Students staged the action in the entrance to the College as members of the public were due to enter the college for an Evensong chapel service. The protesters then lay on the ground with a banner listing the names of Palestinian children killed in Gaza since October 7th.

The chapel service went on uninterrupted, with attendees told to walk around the activists and reminded to keep off the grass of the main court.

“Die-ins” are a popular form of protest in which activists simulate being dead in public places. King’s Cam for Palestine (KC4P), the group responsible, claimed this action was designed “to make visitors to King’s aware of the fact that the College is complicit in genocide through their investments”.

This comes after KC4P disrupted a talk held by King’s Provost Gillian Tett, accusing the college of platforming “zionists and military affiliates” and calling on them to drop ties with “unethical” sponsors.

KC4P are demanding that King’s “drop “unethical” sponsors, cut all financial ties with Israel, and develop a college committee “made up of fellows and students to approve all corporate affiliations and invitations”. They have also urged the College to provide “a firm deadline for arms divestment, as well as a feasibility roadmap from the College”.

The group has launched an open letter campaign demanding that “students have a say in who is invited into the place where they live and work, and also demanded for the College to immediately divest from companies actively engaged in the arms trade”. The letter has since received over 500 signatures including a third of the undergraduate student body at King’s, according to KC4P.

The College has responded to the letter, claiming that they “do not feel it appropriate” to alter their existing practice of inviting speakers without consulting students, and claimed that the “College is committed to dialogue with those whose views may differ from the views of individual members of the college”.


Mountain View

King’s students disrupt talk, calling for divestment from Israel

The group have also criticised the College over “kicking the can down the road” over their arms investment. They have claimed that the College were due to decide on a review of investments in “controversial” companies by the “end of Michelmas 2023,” but the fellowship of the College is yet to hold a vote on the issue.

Last year, Freedom of Information Requests found that King’s invests £2.2 million in arms and defence and had increased its shares in the industry in recent years.

Among the College’s investments was a £240,00 share in Boeing, whose weapons were used in an airstrike on Rafah that killed at least 45 people on Monday (27/04). KC4P alleged that “Israel is using weaponry the College has helped fund to commit genocide”.

King’s College told Varsity: “King’s College’s Investment Committee, which includes student representatives, keeps the College’s investment holdings under ongoing review.”