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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

UoA's Silence on Palestine Campers Sparks Campus Protests

Updated: 3 days ago

Demonstrators picketed outside management offices on Thursday afternoon, calling on the University to respond to their list of demands

By Kirsten Koss and Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Around 30 individuals on the ground, with Palestinian flags and posters
Students stage a 'die-in' at the SDR Library on Thursday afternoon. Photo Credit: Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

As the demands of pro Palestine campers continue to be met with silence from University officials, a series of demonstrations were held on campus on Thursday afternoon. 

Around thirty protestors gathered on Elphinstone Lawn at 1.00 PM before marching en masse to the Sir Duncan Rice Library. As demonstrators held Palestinian flags aloft, one female protester shouted: “This university is complicit in war crimes, and the bombs keep falling.” 

If on cue, the assembled protestors laid down on the ground floor of the library, where they remained for several minutes. 

On their way out of the building, one of the speakers said: "Tell George Boyne that we won't be ignored and Palestine won't be ignored.”

University offices picketed

The group subsequently marched across campus to the University Office on Regent Walk, where the group chanted “UoA, Shame on You” for several minutes, before returning to the lawn around 1.40 PM.

Ten days into the student-led encampment, tensions are undeniably on the rise. On Wednesday evening, campers wrote to Professor Boyne demanding a “response to their reasonable demands”. In the letter, protestors say that senior managers are “currently on the wrong side of history."

Last Wednesday, in an unexpected move, Director of People Debbie Dyker and Vice Principal for Education Jo-Anne Murray visited the encampment.

Receiving a copy of the demands on behalf of the senior management team, the two senior leaders promised protestors a response within two days. Five days on, the wait continues.

Campers want University to divest from Israeli-linked companies

Suggesting the University is “complicit in the actions of Israel” which they term as “undeniably a genocide”, campers have demanded that the Univesity divest from companies with ties to the Israeli state. They have also urged the University to condemn the ongoing conflict in Gaza, and end academic partnerships with Israeli universities. 

Speaking to The Gaudie, representatives from the Palestinian Solidarity Society explained why they had written the letter:

"We are just refusing to be ignored. We have set up camp for a reason and we won’t just walk away without a response to our reasonable demands.”

Campers have given University management until noon on Friday to answer the letter, or further action will take place.


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