King’s College London Students Union (KCLSU) endorsed the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign at its Student General Meeting on Wednesday night, the motion passing 348 to 252. The vote followed a well-attended and impassioned debate, where supporters and opponents of the motion argued their case.
The successfully passed motion commits the Union to “carry out thorough research into KCL investments, partnerships, and contracted companies” that may be “implicated in violating Palestinian human rights”, and to pressure university authorities “to divest from Israel and from companies directly or indirectly supporting the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies”.
The motion also means that KCLSU student centres will display a plaque with the following text: “KCLSU officially endorses the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel until it abides by international law and ends it illegal occupation of Palestine. KCLSU is proud to follow the example of a similar call in the 1980’s, which successfully led to the end of apartheid in South Africa.”
An amendment was also carried, clarifying that the target of the campaign is not individuals but “companies directly or indirectly supporting occupation”.
Shortly after the vote, KCL administration issued a statement through its Public Relations team, noting that KCLSU “is constitutionally separate from, and independent of, King’s College London”.