Exeter, Devon UK • May 27, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home News UK students occupy campuses for Palestine

UK students occupy campuses for Palestine

Features Editor Callum Martin reports on the latest university protests for Palestine, and speaks to a student demonstrator.
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Protestors camp out at the University of Bristol (Image: Izzy Martin)

In recent days, a fresh wave of pro-Palestinian protests has spread from US to UK campuses, with hundreds of students occupying University buildings and grounds up and down the country.

The protestors have formed encampments at Universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester and Bristol, and are calling for their Universities to cut any and all financial ties with Israel due to its bloody military operation in Gaza, which to date has killed an estimated 35,000 Palestinians – the majority of which have been civilians. Many of those killed were young children.

At time of writing, it has just been reported that Hamas has accepted a ceasefire arrangement, but nonetheless Israel is continuing with its planned offensive on Rafah.

The encampment protests started at US Universities such as UCLA and Columbia, with clashes breaking out with police at student encampments across North America.

Exepose spoke to 19 year old Olivia Kubin, a student protestor from the University for San Diego (UCSD).

Olivia told us that, at 6am this morning, “many officers in riot gear showed up, arrested 30+ students, and destroyed the encampment, completely clearing everything in a matter of hours.” She says this was despite the “peaceful” nature of the protests. She feels the response from the university has shown “hypocrisy” in regard to its stated values.

Protests at UCSD (Image: Olivia Kubin)

According to Olivia, the UCSD protest had been inspired by the anti-Vietnam demonstrations of the 1970s, which were, eventually, successful.

Last week, Britain’s Union of Jewish Students said that the encampments at US and UK Universities were creating a “hostile and toxic atmosphere” for Jewish students. In response, Olivia says “I and other protestors reject the narrative that the encampments are intimidating.” She says that a number of Jewish students had been protesting with them.

A spokesperson for Rishi Sunak recently said that police would “have our full support” in dealing with UK replications of the American campus occupations.

Olivia’s message for UK students was “keep standing up for what you believe in, your activism is making history and will change the future for the better!”

The situation is developing fast, and it seems likely that these protests will spread to more UK campuses. If they come to Exeter, we’ll be there to cover it.

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