Students begin occupying UK universities in support of Palestinian Revolution!

Many US universities are now occupied – Denver Police Department raid a student encampment for Palestine arresting 40 students

PRO-Palestinian students have occupied several university campuses in the UK, to protest against the Israeli war on Gaza.

Students in Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol, Sheffield, Manchester, Warwick University in Coventry and set up tents outside university buildings, on Wednesday, and called for supporters to donate food, drinks and hygiene products.

Goldsmiths University in London is occupied. Elsewhere, student activists held marches and protests.

One camp, at Warwick University, has been set up in the town’s piazza for a week.

One first-year student said the US protests had highlighted ‘now is the time to act’.

He said: ‘The courage that those students have shown faced with extreme violence from the police – it’s like a call that needs to be answered and picked up across the world.’

The UK protests follow much larger demonstrations on campuses across the US, most prominently at Columbia University, in New York.

More than 1,000 protesters have been arrested in the US – dozens on Tuesday night, after police raided a Columbia building occupied by students for almost two weeks.

Organisers of the Warwick protest said they had begun the occupation because the university had ‘ignored’ previous demonstrations.

‘After countless demonstrations, sit-ins, open letters and even a motion through our students union, the university hasn’t even engaged with us, let alone met our demands,’ they said on a fundraising page.

Warwick University said it was ‘working to begin discussions’ with the protesters about their demands.

It said: ‘We recognise our students and staff have a right to voice their opinions, as freedom of speech is a vital component of university life.’

‘We are continuing to urge everyone to respect the views of others even when they are different to their own.’

Protesters want their universities to divest from Israel in response to its deadly murderous military operations in the Gaza Strip.

Divestment means selling off stock in Israeli companies or otherwise dropping financial ties.

Lewi, who asked for his surname be withheld, said he had been at the Newcastle encampment since it had begun, at about 8am on Wednesday, and students across the country had coordinated their protests for roughly the same time.

About 60 students and staff members were there, with more expected to join for a rally later in the day, he said.

‘We’ve tried to be democratic since 10 October, when activism on campus began,’ Lewi said.

‘And since then, we’ve had no luck.

‘So now, we’ve resorted to an indefinite encampment until the university will enter negotiations with us.’

In Manchester, protesters said 50 students have set up a camp, demanding that the university end its partnership with BAE Systems and other arms companies, cut its ties with Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and stop all ‘unethical research’.

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