An event organised by King’s College London’s (KCL) Libertarian Society was disrupted by masked protesters yesterday. The event turned violent, and it is believed that several people were injured in the ensuing chaos. The masked protesters were self-proclaimed ‘anti-fascists’. The event was due to see Dr Yaron Brook and Carl Benjamin engage in a debate. The full story is covered here. But first, take a look at some footage of the event, please note the following video contains foul and abusive language.
As you see, the event was a violent one. The event in question was organised by KCL’s Libertarian Society, and featured Dr Yaron Brook, and YouTuber Carl Benjamin, AKA Sargon of Akkad. Both speakers have attracted some controversy in the past, with Benjamin being accused of having ‘alt-right’ beliefs. The event’s original plan was for the duo to engage in debate. The Libertarian Society is well-known for advocating free speech on campus, having criticised the Students’ Union’s safe space policy.
The event had originally been planned to take place on Sunday night, however it was moved to Monday to allow added security to attend. Security officials didn’t allow non-KCL students to enter the event – despite many having tickets. This was done for security reasons. Before the event could get underway, protesters stormed the event. Eyewitness accounts and video footage have helped us put together an idea of what happened. Around 10-15 protesters entered the lecture hall, having forced their way in.
The protesters were seen grabbing microphones, smashing windows, threatening attendees, and even setting off smoke bombs. Some security officials stepped in to try and restore order, though a brawl would take place. Members of the audience were also seen fighting with protesters. Several people were injured as a result of the chaos, with some security members believed to have been taken to hospital. The Police were called, but upon arrival, all protesters had left. The lecture theatre was evacuated.
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The event was eventually cancelled. This event continues a worrying trend of events being disrupted on campus. Spiked Online have recently completed their assertion on freedom of speech at Universities in the United Kingdom. They suggested King’s College London were ‘hostile’ to free speech. Just last week, a KCL society were considering launching legal action against the Students’ Union too. These protests are unlikely to stop or change any time soon.