Pro-Palestinian Encampments Spread To Campuses In Canada, Aus, UK & France

2 weeks ago 90

Pro-Palestinian students at one of France's most elite universities, Sciences Po, occupied a campus building overnight. Like-minded protestors at University College London set up an encampment. And tents with Palestinian flags stretched out this week across

campuses

in Australia. The tensions gripping

universities

in the US appear to be spreading to other countries, where students have challenged their schools' stances on war in Gaza and ties to Israel.

Demonstrators at universities in France have put pressure on administrators to more forcefully condemn Israel's military offence in Gaza and review partnerships with Israeli universities and private donors. Police officers went into Sciences Po Friday to clear out a group of pro-Palestinian protesters who had occupied a campus building and refused to leave until their demands were met, according to a statement from the university. The intervention came after a town hall debate about the war at the university failed to defuse tensions.
The university said students had breached an agreement not to disrupt classes and exams, and that it had made the "difficult decision" to involve police after multiple attempts at dialogue failed. Live video on Instagram showed students chanting, "We ask for justice! We get the police!" as officers pulled them out.
In Britain, small encampments have begun to spring up at universities in Bristol, Newcastle and Warwick. And a coalition of students and staff at University College London put up tents on the campus grounds on Thursday to pressure the school to divest from companies complicit in what they called "the genocide of Palestinians," among other demands.

A union representing students at Trinity College Dublin said the university had fined it more than 214,000 euros, about $230,000, for losses incurred because of disruptive

protests

since last Sept, rising student fees and other issues. The university, a non-profit, cited the "negative financial impact" of protests blocking visitor access to the Book of Kells, a Medieval religious manuscript held at the university. Laszlo Molnarfi, president of the students' union at Trinity College, said the union could not afford the fine. He called it an attempt at intimidation, adding that the protests would continue. "We will be escalating," he said.

In Australia, encampments have come up at major universities in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. These protests have grown more tense as pro-Israel demonstrators have gathered nearby. University administrators have said they support students' right to protest, while warning them to abide by school policies.
In Canada, encampments have sprung up in some of the country's largest universities, including universities of Toronto, British Columbia and Ottawa. Organisers at University of Toronto said the encampment will stay until the university discloses its investments, divests from any that "sustain Israeli apartheid, occupation and illegal settlement of Palestine" and ends partnerships with some Israeli academic institutions. At Montreal's McGill University, the administration requested police intervention to dismantle camps, but law enforcement instead said it was monitoring the situation.

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