May 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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From Australia to the UK: Pro-Palestinian university protests are happening around the world

From Australia to the UK: Pro-Palestinian university protests are happening around the world


Demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians under Israeli The siege in Gaza has spread across universities in the United States and around the world in recent weeks.

More than 2,000 people have been arrested on US campuses since April 18, amid polarized debates over the right to protest, the limits of freedom of expression and accusations of anti-Semitism.

But while clashes and standoffs with police at Columbia University in New York, Portland State and UCLA have captured global attention, demonstrations and sit-ins are also taking place on campuses in parts of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Although the demands of the demonstrators differ in each university, the majority of the demonstrations called on the colleges to do so Abstraction Of companies that support Israel and The war in Gaza.

The current war began on October 7 when Hamas militants killed more than 1,200 people in southern Israel and took more than 200 hostage. The Israeli military response has since sparked a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and inflamed world opinion.

The Israeli bombing of Gaza seven months ago killed more than 34,600 people, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Half of Gaza’s 2.2 million people are on the brink of famine, and man-made famine is imminent, according to a new report. It is the standard used by United Nations agencies. Concerns have also increased about the expected Israeli military operation in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, leading to renewed calls for a ceasefire.

Here’s a look at some of the pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses around the world.

Over the past few weeks, pro-Palestinian protest camps have erupted It has appeared at at least seven universities All over Australia.

The University of Queensland in Brisbane has become a gathering point for rival camps spaced 100 meters (328 feet) apart from each other – one populated by supporters of Students for Palestine at UQ, and another, smaller cluster of tents bearing the Israeli flag among other items hung. Between trees.

It was erected in solidarity with Palestinians under Israeli siege in Gaza and students protesting in the US, but some Jewish groups say it is causing unnecessary tension on campus, and the Australian opposition leader described it as “racist” and “anti-Semitic”.

Students for Palestine at the University of Queensland want the university to reveal all its links to Israeli companies and universities and cut ties with arms companies.

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Hilary Whitman/CNN

Since April 23, camps have spread to several universities across Australia.

So far, the scenes of violence that have erupted on campuses across the United States have not been replicated in Australia.

At the University of Sydney, about 50 tents line the square where up to 100 protesters sleep each night. On May 3, Jewish groups organized a counter-protest against what they said was a “troubling trend of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activities” at the university.

More than 200 people, some wearing the Israeli and Australian flags, gathered on the University of Sydney campus, but there was no direct meeting between them and the pro-Palestinian group, which urged its followers to help them “defend” their camp.

Pro-Palestinian protests have been held at universities across the UK since the early days of the Israeli war on Gaza, with some holding protests Camps in recent days.

At Newcastle University, a small pro-Palestinian camp was set up on the grass in front of the college buildings, videos and photos on social media showed.

X account “Newcastle Apartheid Off Campus” shared photos of their camp, showing about a dozen tents on the grass, some decorated with Palestinian flags.

Owen Humphreys/AP

Tents are set up at a camp on the grounds of Newcastle University to protest the war in Gaza, in Newcastle, England, on May 2, 2024.

The group describes itself as “a student-led coalition fighting to end Newcastle University’s partnership with defense companies supplying Israel.”

Students in the English cities of Leeds, Bristol and Warwick also set up tents outside their university buildings to protest the war in Gaza, according to the Palestinian News Agency.

Campus protests in Britain have received criticism from some Jewish student groups, amid calls for universities to take their duty of care for Jewish students seriously.

In Paris, pro-Palestinian protests broke out at Sciences Po and the Sorbonne in late April.

French police cleared protesters from the Sorbonne — one of the country’s most prestigious universities — with a video geolocated by CNN showing officers dragging two protesters from tents and along the ground.

At the Institute of Political Science, one demonstrator said that a student had begun a hunger strike to protest the university’s response to “students who want to support Palestine.”

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A CNN video showed students holding signs demanding an end to “genocide” in Gaza and a boycott of Israeli universities.

Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Riot police stand on the sidelines of a march by university students in support of the Palestinian people after police dispersed a makeshift camp in front of the Sorbonne University in Paris on May 2, 2024.

Sciences Po is one of the top-ranked French universities and the alma mater of a large number of presidents including current leader Emmanuel Macron. It has strong ties to Columbia University, where students organize large-scale pro-Palestinian protests.

“We are inspired by Columbia, Harvard, Yale, UNC and Vanderbilt,” Louise, a Science Po student, told CNN. “All these universities have mobilized, but our solidarity remains with the Palestinian people first and foremost.”

Amid the protests, the president of the Ile-de-France region said that the university would no longer receive funding from the Parisian regional authority, “until calm and security are restored to the school.”

Samuel Legioio, president of the Union of Jewish Students in France, called for more dialogue between protesters on both sides of the ideological divide.

In an article published by Le Monde newspaper on Thursday, he said that pro-Palestinian demonstrators needed to do more to “clearly condemn anti-Semitism” but that sending in police was not the solution.

“I will never be happy to see CRS [riot police] “Entering the campus,” he wrote. “More than anything else, I believe in dialogue. He added that the great social progress in France has always been the result of struggle and discussion.

Protests were held at the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, in solidarity with protesting students in Colombia.

The protests coincided with an expected visit by US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti to the campus, which was postponed.

“JNU headquarters will not provide a platform for departments and staff representing countries complicit in the terrorism and genocide committed by Israel,” a statement issued by the university’s students’ union on April 29 said. The union also expressed its solidarity with the demonstrators in Colombia.

JNU, ​​one of India’s top universities, has been at the forefront of several protest movements, including 2019 demonstrations against a controversial law that critics say discriminates against Muslims.

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Two student political parties at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi also expressed their solidarity with the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

“We also condemn the stand taken by our BJP-led government in support of Israel, which deviates from India’s historical position,” a statement issued by the Students’ Union of the Communist Party of India said.

Protests against Israel’s war on Gaza have swept campuses across Canada.

At McGill University in downtown Montreal, pro-Palestinian student demonstrators set up camp on the front lawn.

Like their counterparts in the United States, the students are demanding that the college divest from companies with ties to Israel.

Christine Muschi/AP

Mounted police officers walk past pro-Palestinian activists at an encampment set up on the campus of McGill University in Montreal, on May 2, 2024.

The university tried to disperse the demonstrators, saying it had requested police assistance after dialogue with student representatives failed to reach a solution.

On May 2, a Quebec Superior Court judge rejected an injunction that would have forced pro-Palestinian protesters to leave their camp.

Pro-Palestinian protesters also set up camps on the University of Toronto’s downtown campus and at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, among other places, according to CBC Public Radio.

Hundreds of students gathered at universities in Lebanon in late April, waving Palestinian flags and calling on their universities to boycott companies operating in Israel, Reuters. mentioned.

In the capital, pictures showed students at the American University of Beirut protesting against the war in Gaza outside its gates.

Oliver Marsden/Middle East Images/AFP/Getty Images

American University of Beirut students and members of the public protest the war in Gaza outside the university’s gates in solidarity with students around the world, on April 30, in Beirut, Lebanon.

Some demonstrators said they were inspired by protests on American universities.

Ali Al-Muslim (19 years old) told Reuters, “We want to show the whole world that we have not forgotten the Palestinian issue and that the young generation – conscious and educated – is still with the Palestinian issue.”