The KCL Libertarian Society has launched a petition calling for a vote of no confidence against KCLSU President Ahad Mahmood for a statement posted on his personal Facebook page ahead of a controversial War Studies event.
Mahmood’s statement called for ‘solidarity with our transgender, non-binary and women students who will be affected by the Endangered Speech event on 13th November.’ The event featured journalist Joanna Williams, known for her position on trans rights and for her opposition to the #MeToo movement.
A separate statement entitled ‘Opposing Hate at King’s College London’ was jointly released by a number of student societies, calling for the cancellation of the event. However, this received no official support from either Mahmood or the SU.
As part of a new speaker series organised by the head of the War Studies department Professor Mike Rainsborough, ‘Endangered Speeches’ were a set of talks created to emphasise the importance of freedom of speech in the wake of increased censorship on university campuses.
The ‘Petition to Depose the King’s College London Student Union President’ was organised by the KCL Libertarian society on the grounds that he ‘stood by a statement that called for the immediate cancellation of the event.’
The petition goes on to say that: ‘The President could have demonstrated remarkable leadership to condemn the malicious attempts to obstruct students from hearing different perspectives and defend the principle that allows intellectual development to flourish.
‘To the contrary, the KCLSU, in a statement published both in its newsletter and website, expressed concern and disappointment with the news that Dr Williams had been invited, later exemplifying their intentions to further abuse their power by developing ‘greater accountability for staff-led events’.’