UCL Provost Malcolm Grant was yesterday presented with a petition signed by over 1,000 UCL staff and students calling on him to sell UCL’s shares in an arms
company. The provost also received a hand-signed copy of a book by UCL alumnus Richard Wilson, in which he describes how his sister died as a result of the arms trade.
Richard Wilson is just one of the UCL graduates who has given his backing to
Disarm UCL, which calls for the College to divest from arms trader Cobham plc
and to adopt an ethical investment policy. Malcolm Grant now has the chance to
read Richard’s account of his sister Charlotte’s death at the hands of a militia
in Burundi. Her killers told her that she was dying because of “the white people
supplying the weapons in Africa”.
Richard Wilson said:
“By handing this company over £900, 000 with which to do business, UCL is
making itself complicit in that business, and its impact on the world. In
producing components for military aircraft which are then sold to some of the
most depraved regimes on the planet, Cobham is as responsible for the deaths
that result as the people who produced the bullets that killed my sister.”
UCL student and campaigner Ed Hood said:
“There is no reason at all to invest in business that kills. Financially UCL
would do equally well if it were to invest in ethical business. UCL prides
itself to be a global university. We want a global university to show a global
After meeting the provost student and alumni, campaigners protested in UCL’s main quad dressed in camouflage uniforms, with toy guns in their hands and mortarboards on their heads.