British Queen celebrates


In a wave of solidarity with Palestine, protests erupted across British universities on Thursday, echoing the fervor of demonstrations at US campuses. At Goldsmiths University in London,

students made a bold statement by storming the library and occupying its first two floors overnight. Similar actions unfolded in Leeds, Newcastle, and Bristol, where tents sprung up outside college buildings, marking the spread of Gaza campus protests to the UK.

Emblazoned with slogans like "Shut Down 4 Palestine" and the contentious "From The River to the Sea," posters outside the London university echoed the students' passionate stance. The Goldsmiths for Palestine group took charge, barricading the library, unfurling a Palestinian flag, and presenting a list of demands to the school's management. Their demands included increased scholarships for Palestinian students, the revocation of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, and the abandonment of protest guidelines and the use of body cameras during student protests.

The group's statement emphasized the urgent need for accountability, declaring, "Goldsmiths must be rid of its complicity in genocide. Management must be held accountable." Although the protest persisted, with only two individuals present during a visit by The Standard, other students continued with their studies, highlighting a divergence of engagement.

This recent demonstration follows a five-week occupation of the university's Professor Stuart Hall Building earlier in the year. Meanwhile, in Bristol, students voiced their dissent against what they perceived as their university's complicity in Israel's actions against Palestinians. Apartheid Off Campus Newcastle similarly aimed to shed light on their institution's investment strategies and its alleged involvement in Israeli military operations.

At Warwick University, a camp has been established for a week, advocating for divestment from Israel in response to its military activities in Gaza. This call for action entails selling off stocks in Israeli companies or severing financial ties. Supporters have rallied, offering donations of food, drinks, and hygiene products to sustain the cause.

Images shared by the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign depicted large gatherings of students on various campuses, accompanied by tents and banners prominently displaying their support.

Amidst these protests, Edward Isaacs, president of the Union of Jewish Students, highlighted concerns about rising anti-Semitic sentiments on campuses, urging for heightened awareness and action.

Responding to the turmoil, a spokesman for Goldsmiths, University of London, reiterated the institution's commitment to safety and support for all students and staff. Acknowledging the diversity of perspectives surrounding the conflict, the university affirmed its dedication to fostering respectful dialogue and providing meaningful support to those affected. This includes a pledge of £120,000 annually towards humanitarian scholarships for Palestinian students and efforts to aid in the reconstruction of universities and education in the region.

Across the Atlantic, violent clashes marred campuses in the US, notably at Columbia University in New York and the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). With over 1,000 protesters arrested and hundreds remaining barricaded at UCLA despite police orders, tensions escalated. Law enforcement prepared to intervene as a standoff unfolded, underscoring the intensity of emotions surrounding the issue. Photo by Alex Blandford, Wikimedia commons.