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Pro-Palestine and climate justice groups host sit-in at Cambridge’s Maxwell Centre

Activist groups protest the involvement of Cambridge’s Laboratory for Scientific Computing with fossil fuel companies and the war in Gaza

A coalition of climate justice groups and organisations protesting the war in Israel and Palestine came together today to hold a sit-in and picket at the University of Cambridge’s Maxwell Centre.

The demonstrators gathered in a show of opposition to the impact of Cambridge University’s research group Laboratory for Scientific Computing’s (LSC) partnerships with arms and fossil fuel companies.

Groups involved in the action include Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Cambridge Stop the War, Just Stop Oil Cambridge, ORCA (Organisation of Radical Cambridge Activists) and XR Cambridge.

Protestors stood outside the Maxwell Centre, where the LSC is based, with Palestinian flags and banners, while others held a sit-in within the reception area. They played music, read poetry and gave speeches.

The activists highlighted that industry partners of the LSC include arms companies which produce arms used by the Israeli military in its bombardment of Palestinians living in Gaza, as well as fossil fuel companies.

An ORCA (Organisation of Radical Cambridge Environmentalists) member who took part in the action said: “The University of Cambridge’s willingness to work with companies profiting from death shows how morally bankrupt they are.

“Is our education fit for purpose if it’s being led by corrupt industrial motives? If the uni is going to claim to be a ‘world-leading’ institution, we have to ask questions about the type of world it’s leading us toward.”

A representative of Cambridge Stop the War said: “Cambridge Stop the War has campaigned against the UK arming of Israel and supplying aircraft from our bases here in Suffolk. Our government is complicit in the ongoing genocide of the people of Gaza.

“We call on the University of Cambridge to divest from companies that profit from the misery of others. Our brightest minds should be employed in researching solutions to global inequality and Just Transitions, not creating new and horrific ways of maiming and killing civilian men, women and children.”

A member of Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “What the people of Gaza and the West Bank are suffering is way beyond anything that should be tolerated.

“There is no justification for the UK state, business or the University of Cambridge to be complicit in the genocidal nature of the ongoing colonisation and control systems that Palestinians endure.”