UK speech on 'Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion' interrupted by anti-Israel protesters

The interruption took place during a talk titled 'How freedom of speech and academic freedom influence equality, diversity and inclusion.'

UK speech on 'Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion' interrupted by anti-Israel protesters
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Anti-Israel protesters at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, disrupted a talk about Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and freedom of speech on Wednesday.

The protesters chanted and held baby clothing drenched in fake blood.

One faculty member, who did not want to be named, said that they felt "unsafe" during the protest. The university said that the safety of its staff and students are its "highest priority" and that disruptions like this would not be tolerated, the BBC reports.

The interruption took place during a talk titled "How freedom of speech and academic freedom influence equality, diversity and inclusion."

The protesters entered the room while deputy vice chancellor Tom Lawson was getting prepared to speak.

Footage from the event shows protesters standing at the front of the hall yelling, "your hands are washed with Palestinian blood."

A spokesperson for the protesters said: "As a collective we decided to target and disrupt this event on the basis that these claimed ‘EDI’ values are incompatible with the university’s relationship with Lockheed Martin - the world's largest weapons manufacturer."

No arrests were made during the protest, Northumbria Police said.

While the protesters were not blocking the exit, the witness said that they were standing by the exit.

The talk also continued into another lecture hall.

The day following the event, Andy Long, the CEO of Northumbria University, emailed attendees, extending "additional support" to staff impacted by the protest.

A Northumbria University spokesperson said: "We understand the concerns raised on this occasion and have sought to reassure colleagues that their safety and wellbeing is our highest priority.

"In this instance our security team were able to resolve the situation swiftly and peacefully.

"We will seek to avoid the possibility of similar interruptions to other events of importance to our community - any action that seeks to disrupt the smooth running of the university cannot be tolerated."

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