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DemilitariseUON protestors removed from Uni of Nottingham building by bailiffs

The university deemed the behaviour of the group ‘unacceptable’


The University of Nottingham evicted a group of protestors known as DemilitariseUON from a university building last week, after describing their behaviour as ‘unacceptable’. The group had been occupying the Coates Road Auditorium for 12 days amid the ongoing events in Israel-Palestine, advocating for an end of the university’s affiliation with firms supplying arms, Nottingham Post reports.

A spokesperson for the group said: “The university’s silence has been deafening. The lack of support for Palestinian students and reluctance in condemning the Israeli government is a stark contrast to the university’s readily extended support to Ukrainian students and solidarity with Ukrainian victims. In this cause, silence is tantamount to betrayal.”

Bailiffs were used to evict the students from the building, with a spokesperson from the university saying: “The University of Nottingham upholds freedom of speech and our priority is, and always will be, to ensure that opportunities to engage in debate or protest are safe, inclusive, dignified, respectful and responsible.

“In all the university does, it values inclusivity, ambition, openness, fairness, and respect. However, we also expect our students to respect all members of our community and it is not acceptable that protest activity from a handful of demonstrators should cause over a week of disruption to timetabled lectures and prevent thousands of other students from having access to the teaching and learning spaces they require.”

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Hamas’ attack on Israel last month killed 1,200 people and hundreds more taken hostage. Gaza’s health ministry reports more than 15,800 Palestinian deaths in Israeli retaliation.

Of this conflict, the University of Nottingham has previously said “We have all been shocked and distressed by the devastating events that are unfolding in Southern Israel and Gaza, and by the escalating violence in the area. Our thoughts are with those individuals caught up in the violence and fighting, and we hope for a resolution, ceasefire and peace.

“As a university, we roundly condemn all violence, and we are clear that all forms of discrimination have no place within our community. We have zero tolerance for hate incidents or hate crimes, which includes any incident that is perceived— by the victim or any other person— to be motivated by hostility, hate or prejudice. As a university, we value inclusivity and respect in all that we do.”

Featured image via DemilitariseUON

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