Extinction Rebellion Bristol occupy Wills Memorial Building entrance in pro-Palestine protest

The group argued the university’s partnerships make it ‘complicit to the genocide in Palestine’

On Tuesday (23rd April) a group from Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol took to the front entrance of the Wills Memorial Building, lying across the floor, in protest against the conflict in Palestine.

The group entered the building at 11:30 am, taking control of the area for roughly an hour until they dispersed at 12:45 pm.

The group stated their main reasoning for the demonstration on their Instagram, @xryouthbristol: “The University of Bristol continues to be complicit to the genocide in Palestine. We will continue to protest until this changes.”

The protestors blocked the entrance area with students unable to enter through the main door until the protest dispersed at 12:45pm

The students were heard chanting “occupation no more” and “all of Gaza’s universities have been bombed, calling for “arms off campus” concerning the University of Bristol’s ties with companies that supply Israel with arms.

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “We respect freedom of speech and the right to protest. Our Vice-Chancellor is always happy to meet with students to hear their concerns.

“The University’s association with a wide variety of organisations helps drive innovative research and improves our students’ future careers. All our partnerships undergo stringent diligence checks and ethical reviews.”

This issue has previously caused tension, with students and staff penning an open letter to boycott the check-in app, calling on the vice-chancellor to cut ties with companies supplying Israel with arms.

In March these tensions escalated and students occupied the Victoria Rooms and eventually the university management building for four weeks. The students only left when threatened with legal action.

In a separate move, another group of students staged an occupation of Wills Memorial Building which lasted five days until the group was also threatened with legal action.

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