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Protesters evicted from the courtyard

KTH-logotype on a house facade.
The pro-Palestinian protesters camping in the courtyard have been evicted by the police.
Published Jun 14, 2024

KTH has applied for and been granted permission to use the ground in the courtyard for a conference on 17 June. This means that those who have been camping there since 14 May and who do not have permission must move. The police have therefore asked them to leave, and on the morning of 14 June the demonstrators were evicted by the police.

This is one of several conferences that KTH will host during the summer – conferences that need access to outdoor areas on KTH Campus.

 On Monday 17 June, the R&D Management Conference will be held with close to 700 participants from 90 different countries.

Since 14 May, a number of students have been protesting against the war in Gaza in the courtyard and have made a number of demands on KTH, including that KTH should take a stand on the war.

As a university, KTH does not take a political stance – it´s mission is education and research. KTH is an authority and as such it follows the government's line on foreign policy issues.

"We simply need the courtyard for our activities - an area that has been used by the protesters for a month. We have had a dialogue with them in the past but found that we could not meet their demands," says Anders Söderholm, President of KTH.

On 14 May, the police decided that the demonstration in the courtyard was an unauthorized public gathering and as such protected by the constitution.

Since then, KTH has been in regular contact with the police, who has been assessing and managing the situation.

There has been a lot of vandalism in recent weeks, which involves major costs. It is not clear who is behind the vandalism, but on several occasions, red paint has been sprayed on facades and doors, as well as indoors. The access control system has been sabotaged on a number of buildings. The total cost of decontamination, repairs and surveillance so far amounts to millions.

KTH's activities have also been disrupted by loud protests on several occasions. These include exams, dissertations, meetings and conferences.

KTH has worked preventively to minimise disruption to its activities, for example by rescheduling regular surveillance and, to some extent, increasing surveillance of the moste vulnerable areas. 

Text: Jill Klackenberg

Belongs to: Current
Last changed: Jun 14, 2024