Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Arms dealers in the quad ! UCL students protest UCL's investment in arms trader Cobham

Just a quick one to say that the Disarm UCL protest in the quad went really well today. We dressed up as arms dealers and tried to sell toy guns and missiles to everyone around in the quad. Our opening line "Can we interest you in any missile components today ?" made people stop and talk to us about the ongoing arms investments.

The vast majority of students were outraged by the arms investments and signed our petition.

There were also many prospective students in the quad having a look round their future university. We talked to them about the arms investment. The future students were shocked to learn that UCL invests in the international arms trade.

One prospective student I spoke to told me: "This is outrageous. I will not let the arms investments stop me from coming to UCL. I want to join you to make sure UCL adopts an ethical investment policy."

Our protest today was part of a national action day for ethical investment. Students at seven other universities across the country also protested against the dirty investments of their unis.

I've just spoken to Barnaby Pace, a third year mechanical engineering student at Warwick on the phone: "It is really inspiring to be part of this national movement for ethical investment at UK universities" he told me. "Like you guys at UCL we also dressed up as arms dealers today. We got a lot of positive responses from students and staff. Most people believe that the international arms trade should have no place in a university. "

Well done to everyone at UCL and around the country who took part in the action day. It really is time for UCL and the other unis to come clean on investment !

The BBC reported about the national action Day.