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Leeds students occupying Parkinson Court demand meeting with uni in protest for Palestine

The students’ demands require the University of Leeds to condemn Israeli genocide, create a safe space for people to protest and ban war criminals from its campus


Students protesting for Palestine are currently occupying Parkinson Court with tents and banners after arriving at the building at around 2pm this afternoon.

Led by Leeds Socialist Worker Student Society (SWSS), Student Rebellion Leeds and University of Leeds Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG), protestors gathered outside of the Parkinson Building before entering, where a student leading the protest called for the University of Leeds to condemn Israeli genocide, create a safe space for people to protest and ban war criminals from its campus.

The students have since told the university that they will continue to occupy the building until an official from the University of Leeds meets with them for discussion.

via Leeds PSG

Protestors carrying signs and placards reading “Free Palestine” and “Stop killing children” moved through the streets before gathering at the Parkinson Building steps earlier this afternoon. A student with a megaphone then directed a speech to students, calling for the university to take action against the situation in Gaza.

Leeds SWSS, Student Rebellion Leeds and Leeds PSG shared details of the occupation earlier on Instagram in a shared post, calling for students to join them.

via Leeds PSG

Leeds SWSS also shared footage of students entering the Parkinson Building on their Instagram Story, as well as students leading chants from the upper balcony in Parkinson Court.

Students then moved inside the building with tents, before putting them up in Parkinson Court. A banner was also erected on the first floor railings that overlook the main concourse reading “Arms off campus”.

Protestors demands are for the University of Leeds to condemn Israeli genocide and to create a safe space for its students to protest, as well as ban war criminals from its campus.

This comes after the University of Leeds Jewish chaplain was forced to hiding after he received death threats.

via Leeds PSG

Student protestors then sat down among the tents and signs, while chants of “Our university is complicit”, “Ceasefire now”, “Israel is a terror state”, “Free, free Palestine” were shared among students.

The student leading the group confirmed that they would continue to occupy the building until an official from the University of Leeds met with them for discussion.

via Leeds PSG

Students also entering the Brotherton Library building are allegedly being asked to show their student ID card by campus security.

Leeds SWSS also shared a photo of an “events timetable” on its Instagram Story, outlining an afternoon of celebration, music and dancing at 3pm, prayer at 3.15pm, arts and crafts at 4pm, followed by a talk on”Why anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism”.

via @swssleeds on Instagram

The itinerary also outlined a meal time at 7pm, where food will be provided to student occupiers, before a Zoom call at 8pm with Goldsmiths Occupation and a Palestinian film screening at 9pm.

The occupation timetable has since been shared in a post by Leeds PSG and Student Rebellion Leeds.

A spokesperson for the University of Leeds said: “The University is currently monitoring the situation to ensure the safety and access for those working and studying in the Parkinson Building. Whilst we respect the right to free speech and peaceful expression within the law, equally, we will work to minimise disruption for building users.

“We know that many in our community are distressed and directly impacted by the terrible conflict in Israel and Gaza, and we will continue to do more to support our students, understand their feelings, act to protect the cohesion of our community, and tackle hatred wherever it is found.”

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