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Questions and answers regarding the protests on the KTH Campus

Pro-Palestinian protests are currently taking place on the KTH Campus linked to the war between Israel and Hamas. The protesters have made a number of demands, including that KTH should take a stand against the war. Many people are contacting KTH with questions about the war and the protests.

A compilation of answers to the most commonly asked questions

What is KTH's position on the war between Israel and Hamas?

The war is terrible for all those who have been and are being affected. KTH is a government agency and as such, we have to follow the government's line on foreign policy issues and do not take a political position.

Why does KTH not take a stand?

Students and employees are of course entitled to express opinions and the campus is a place where everyone should feel comfortable and welcome. But as a government agency KTH is to follow the government´s line in foreign policy. (see answer above).
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Does KTH collaborate with Israeli universities?

KTH has a student exchange agreement with an Israeli university, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but during the war there is no exchange. We have no knowledge of individual researchers’ personal collaboration.

KTH also supports the statement issued by the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions SUHF (In Swedish)  in connection with the war between Israel and Hamas. 

Does KTH make a difference between what happened in Ukraine and in Gaza?

KTH as a government agency does not take a political position, but we follow the government's line on foreign policy issues, which have been different in these two conflicts.

How does KTH view the protests in the form of the tent camp in the courtyard since 14 May?

Everyone has the right to express their opinions, but it must not disrupt KTH's activities and people should not have to feel afraid on campus. According to the police, it is categorized as an unauthorized public gathering.

How does KTH view the demonstrations held on KTH Campus?

Employees and students are of course entitled to express their opinions, but unfortunately there have been extensive disruptions of KTH's activities in connection with the demonstrations. However, it is unclear who are behind them. KTH takes this very seriously, as it has meant that KTH's operations have not been able to be conducted in a safe and secure manner. KTH has therefore intensified its security measures to minimise damage and disruption to operations. The police are assessing and managing the situation, and is in close contact with KTH.

The protests have been peaceful, why is KTH reacting so strongly to them?

Unfortunately they have not been so peaceful, there has been a lot of destruction with, for example, red spray paint, loud protests and other types of disruption of KTH's operations. This has resulted in considerable costs and many people react with concern and unease.

Why is KTH sending the police on peaceful protesters?

Since the protests began, KTH has been in regular contact with the police who assesses and manage the situation and make their independent decisions on when to intervene. Any individuals who in any way feels that they are in a threatening situation has the right to call the police. The police also conduct their own surveillance. The police then decides what to do or not do in the individual situation.

Why does the police use dogs?

How the police handle situations that emerge is a question for the police to answer.

Isn't it illegal to cover your face at demonstrations as some people do?

There is a law prohibiting masking. What is considered illegal or not is a decision made by the police.

What measures has KTH taken in response to the occupation of the student union building on 7 June?

It is still up to the police to decide how to handle the situation. KTH is in regular contact with the police.

Why doesn't KTH talk to the students protesting?

Since last autumn, KTH has been in contact with the students on several occasions, via e-mail and at physical meetings. The students have expressed their demands to KTH and KTH has explained its position on the issue.

You talk about protecting staff and students, does this also apply to those who are in the tent camp and taking part in demonstrations?

Students and employees should not have to feel unsafe on KTH's campus. But all staff and students also have a responsibility not to contribute to creating insecurity for others.

Why are some doors locked?

To ensure a safe and calm study and work environment for everyone, the security department has decided to close the front doors of some buildings on the KTH Campus. This is due to loud protests and vandalism that have occurred in KTH's premises. During regular opening hours, students and staff can enter with access cards and codes. The schools that have public defense events will assist in receiving the respective audience.

What rules apply to student access cards?

Students' access cards are subject to the same security requirements as always. The access card is a personal document, and it is not allowed to let someone else use your access card, let people into KTH's premises or set up doors. For everyone's safety and security, security guards carry out authorization and identity checks on people who have been on KTH's premises. Students must present a valid ID document, a valid access card and prove authorization by swiping the access card in the relevant card reader. If you cannot present these documents, security staff will ask you to leave the premises.

Studentwebben Access cards on KTH campus

I have seen a fake KTH website, are you aware of it?

There are fake webpages that state KTH as the sender and claim that KTH's board has had an extraordinary meeting regarding the Israel-Palestine issue. This is not true, the information is false. No extraordinary meeting has been held or is planned.