Oxford and Cambridge students set up Gaza protest camps

Students and staff at Oxford and Cambridge have set up camps on their university campuses to protest against the war in Gaza.

The so-called “Liberated Zone” encampments were created in the early hours of Monday in front of the Pitts Rivers Museum in Oxford and outside King’s College in Cambridge.

The protesters are calling for the universities to cut financial ties with Israel after the country’s offensive in Gaza.

In footage posted to social media, students can be seeing setting up tents and carrying sleeping bags.

Students outside Pitts Rivers Museum at Oxford University (Oxford Action for Palestine/PA)

In a joint statement, Oxford Action for Palestine and Cambridge for Palestine said they “refuse to accept our universities’ complicity in Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people”.

They said: “Oxbridge’s profits cannot continue to climb at the expense of Palestinian lives, and their reputations must no longer be built on the whitewashing of Israeli crimes.

“Today we join the university students, faculty and staff across the globe who refuse to continue business as usual while our institutions profit from genocide.”

Pro-Palestine encampments have sprung up at UK universities like Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle over the past week, after unrest at similar sites in the US.

Cambridge for Palestine called on the university to disclose financial and professional ties to Israel, divest from related organisations, and reinvest in supporting Palestinian students, academics and scholars.

Demands by Oxford Action for Palestine include the university disclosing a comprehensive account of university-wide assets and divesting from “all companies that are complicit in Israeli genocide, apartheid and occupation of Palestine within the next five years”.

Student-led group Cambridge Jews for Justice in Palestine is supporting the encampment on their university grounds and told the PA news agency: “We refuse to sit by while our university is complicit in, and profits from, the genocide of Palestinians and we refuse to accept its commitment to murder and bloodshed as the status quo.”

The spokesperson said they were joining “students across the world in refusing the weaponised conflation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism”.

An Oxford University spokesperson told PA: “We respect our students and staff members’ right to freedom of expression in the form of peaceful protests.

“We ask everyone who is taking part to do so with respect, courtesy and empathy.”

PA has contacted Cambridge University for comment.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –