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Last night (27/10/2016) an event was hosted on campus by UCLU Friends of Israel society with Hen Mazzig, which was met with demonstrations by students. Extra security presence was put in place and police were called due to the controversial nature of the event.

The demonstrations were organised independently, rather than by any society as reported by Pi Media (This has been rectified on the Pi Media website as of 28/10). Two sets of protests had taken place, in support as well as in opposition the event.

At no point did UCLU ‘no-platform’ Hen Mazzig. The initial problems with the event were due entirely to procedural errors on behalf of the organising society. Once these mistakes were rectified and the requisite information given, the event was given the green light to go ahead. As a result of the speaker approval procedure, which is in place for all societies and stands so that we can organise events safely, being correctly completed, extra security and safety provisions were allocated for the event by UCLU.

The protests which took place were peaceful on both sides. The protests and events were covered on live social media by both groups involved and a large body of video coverage evidences the peaceful nature of the protests. The presence of the Metropolitan Police force as well as UCL Security at the event was to facilitate peaceful proceeding of events and largely they did a great job of keeping the situation under control and treating both sides fairly, we are however concerned at reports of inappropriate behaviour by security and police officers towards students, which are subject to investigation.

UCLU is committed to securing all members’ freedom of speech within the university, and this extends to the right to express and protest peacefully and within the law.

Any reports of individuals involved with yesterday’s events in any capacity acting contrary to our code of conduct and values will be investigated appropriately by UCLU, and we encourage students affected to report this to us.