What would you like the Union to do?
1. The sabbatical officers lead on organising and delivering events, actions and campaigns against the Prevent agenda on UCL campus.
2. That the union itself along with all elected and hired officials don’t attend meetings with Prevent leads or meetings with prevent as a discussion point on the Agenda – or ask that it is politely removed.
3. The union makes clear their stance on the Prevent Agenda
Why would you like to do this?
Policies such as Prevent and UK Visa & Immigration monitoring have served to expand and normalise surveillance on our campuses. This ‘securitisation’ limits; the ability to organise, internal democracy, academic freedom and freedom of expression & belief. It puts the students directly targeted through a stressful and traumatising process, and deters many more from organising for change. This has led to racial and religious profiling (esp. Black and/or Muslim students) of students at institutions like KCL, UCL and Leicester, where students are either locked out of their institutions, stopped and searched or their personal information is passed onto the police.
Prevent is part of the Counterterrorism & Security Act 2015 that mandates all public sector workers to identify those who could potentially engage in extremist activities.
Muslim students have faced intense targeting by Prevent as those who implement the policy are required to trust their “gut feeling” on who they believe will engage in such activities. In a time of rampant islamophobia this has manifested as Muslim students’ beliefs and practices being demonised and has led to otherisation. Because of this we have seen:
● Surveillance Cameras installed in prayer rooms
● Prayer rooms removed
● Students disallowed the right to pray
● Islamic societies disbanded
● Emails and sermons monitored
External speaker processes have been altered at many HE institutions as part of Prevent. This has seen events burdened with increased security and restrictions, including external chairs being imposed on events, particularly in the case of Palestine societies.
33% of all Prevent referrals are from the education sector. FE Students are particularly vulnerable to targeting as 66% of all referrals are of those under 20. Prevent has been repeatedly proven to be ineffective, with 90%-95% of referrals proven to be ‘false positives’. These individuals have still, however, been subjected to the stress of invasive interviews, police interrogations and a police file.
How will this affect students?
• Students will be able to practice their faith without fear of repercussions
• Student societies will be able to invite a wider range of speakers and thus upholding freedom of speech