UK universities see more anti-genocide camps as far-right mobilise

  • Post last modified:May 14, 2024
  • Reading time:12 mins read

Students are upping their game when it comes to anti-genocide encampments on UK universities. Protests and activism over Israel’s continued war crimes in Gaza have been spreading across the country. However, much like their US counterparts, UK students are now facing attacks from Zionists – but so far, cops have remained quite… for now.

From the US to the UK via Greece and the Netherlands, students take action

As the Canary has documented, there have already been violent crackdowns around the student protests in the US. Meanwhile, protests have been erupting in Greece, too:

In the Netherlands, cops are cracking down in a similar fashion to the US:

Now, as the Canary previously reported these protests are now spreading to UK universities. Encampments have been set up in both Manchester and Sheffield – as well as Edinburgh, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Goldsmiths in London, and Warwick.

For example, in Sheffield students are protesting over their university’s complicity in Israel genocide. The university’s involvement in F-35 production supplying Israel is part of a pattern of close ties with the arms industry. In 2022, a freedom of information request (FOI) revealed that Sheffield took at least £72m in investment from the arms trade over the preceding decade.

Now, these protests are spreading further.

UK universities’ encampments: spreading like wildfire

Falmouth and Exeter Students have begun their solidarity encampment – calling on students, faculty, and staff to resist the University of Exeter’s complicity in genocide:

The new group “Fal Exe Solidarity Camp” has been established on Penryn Campus, just outside the exchange.

A spokesperson for the group said:

Both universities have investments in companies which are profiting from genocide – we as students reject the use of our money being used to fund war crimes. We are calling on people to come down, join us, support us and get involved in the conversation whilst we work together to formulate our list of demands”.

Many groups at Universities across the UK have followed suit from America in taking to their campuses and joining in protest camps. As we watch a genocide continue to unfold on our screens, and the Israeli state’s aggression towards Rafah brings death and misery to Palestinian families, the call for academic institutions to cut ties with companies complicit in war crimes grows louder every day.

We will remain in our encampment until our demands our met, and continue to pressure the universities to divest from genocide.

King’s College London also saw students set up an encampment:

Queen Mary University saw similar:

Over at SOAS, campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) helped make student’s encampment accessible – as the university clearly wasn’t going to do it:

Far-right and Zionists come out to play

However, in other places the far right has been on the move. Racist, far-right Turning Point claimed that locals had ‘had enough’ of the Oxford Uni encampment. However, it’s more likely the group or a similar one shipped its goons in to disrupt it:

This is because locals don’t all turn up in a taxi:

Moreover, someone identified two of the goons:

Similar has happened at University College London:

Cops defending Israel’s genocide

This came after cops arrested four activists on Saturday 4 May outside the student encampment at UCL. Police nicked them under terrorism laws – for holding a banner with a peace dove and bright blue sky on it:

As the Canary previously wrote of the situation in the US:

Student protests across America and around the rest of the world are not antisemitic – they’re a response to the interminable siege of Palestine.

What else are students supposed to? Sit back and watch as universities in Palestine are razed to the ground? Do nothing while the US arms Israel? Twiddle their fingers while experts predict that 10,000 Palestinians are buried in rubble that will take years to clear?

What are the police supposed to do then, you may ask?

Stay the hell away.

With UK university encampments spreading like wildfire, cops over here would do well to take that advice.

Featured image via X screengrab

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