Campaign of the Month: Disarm UCL


Disarm UCL is a campaign in the UK which has widespread support among University College London students, staff and alumni. UCL Student Union fully supports the campaign.

It aims to get UCL to divest its shares in arms company Cobham plc, which profits significantly from the sale of military components. Cobham plc is the world's 46th largest arms producer by military revenue. UCL as a major university sets an important precedent for the whole sector. Its claim to be a 'global' university with a tradition of liberal ideals and social justice is undermined by its direct support of the 'global' arms trade.

Disarm UCL also campaigns for the adoption of a far-reaching ethical investment policy. Despite recent moves towards ethical investment UCL's leadership still insists on investing in Cobham plc.

Disarm UCL has put forward a policy proposal for ethical investment at UCL. Download the proposal here.

UCL alumni have been at the forefront of the campaign. Many have written to Provost Malcolm Grant informing him that they will not support UCL financially or otherwise as long as the investement in arms trader Cobham plc continues. More about the Disarm UCL alumni network here.

Action at UCL:

At the end of last term the campaign put on a fake graduation ceremony to protest against UCL's investment in arms companies. One student dressed as a military general handed out fake diplomas and toy guns to other students graduating in camouflage uniforms. The action definitely turned a few heads including that of the UCL Provost who happened to pass by.

Actions at other universities campus in the UK

Birmingham students make a case against BAE

Students from the People and Planet society disrupted a recruitment presentation by BAE staff on the 6th  November. Approximately 10 students entered the lecture theatre where the presentation was being held and gained access to the lectern to give a brief presentation on BAE's corruption and human rights abuses around the world. The students then stayed to hear BAE's own presentation.

The protest followed a demonstration at a Careers Fair on 24th October where students dressed as weapons inspectors cordoned off BAE's stall to 'gather evidence' against the company. They also  gave out leaflets and held a mass 'die in'.

These protest are part of a wider campaign against the presence of arms companies on campus, and their widespread involvement in university research.

Birmingham Student Activist

Lancaster student's ant-BAE Halloween mischief

On 31st October, a group of Lancaster University students entered the Great Hall on campus in order to protest BAE Systems' presence at their careers fair. Two students gave out leaflets in the foyer. A further four students entered the hall and stood in front of BAE's stall with a banner reading 'Get a career in killing wiht BAE Systems'. They handed out leaflets and talked to students around the stall. The group then moved to one of the busiest parts of campus to hold a 'die-in' around a banner reading 'BAE Systems: a job to die for'. Many people stopped to ask about BAE and the protest. Two students later re-entered the careers fair and dropped a banner from a balcony

Lancaster Student Activist

Text taken from CatNews:

For more information:

Programmes & Projects

Add new comment