Students launch encampment outside Sheffield University SU in solidarity with Palestine

This follows a number of similar protests in America and across UK university campuses

Yesterday, students from protest group Sheffield Campus Coalition for Palestine set up a protest encampment outside the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union.

The group, which plans to remain in the encampment until their demands are met, spent their first night in the encampment last night.

The group is calling for the University of Sheffield to cut off all ties with the arms industry and Israeli universities.

Ali Jackes, a protest organiser, stood in front of the encampment outside the Student’s Union

Ali Jackes, an organiser of the protest, said: “A person chose to take these investments. These are all decisions and the people that made these decisions should be held accountable”.

Sheffield Campus Coalition is one of a number of Sheffield student groups that has been protesting in support of Palestine in recent months. They say they have reached out to the University of Sheffield several times, but haven’t received responses.

The protesters remain hopeful that their demands will be met with Ali saying: “It’s on the uni to act right, it’s on the uni to act accordingly. It’s on them to take the moral decision in this case. The university’s reputation means a lot to it, and this protest is very damaging for it’s reputation.”

This afternoon the University of Sheffield sent an email to students outlining their commitment to free speech, and the right to protest.

The protestors have been gathering supplies for their encampment.

It also said that protestors would be able to access facilities in the Students’ Union building over the bank holiday weekend.

The encampment follows similar protests at American universities and organisers have been coordinating with other groups making encampments at Warwick, Leeds and Newcastle universities.

A spokesperson from the University of Sheffield, said: “A small number of people have pitched tents in front of our Students’ Union following a planned protest. We support the right of our students to express their views peacefully and within the law and planned campus activities will continue as normal.

“We ask students involved in protests to be mindful of the experiences and positions of others. We also want to remind our students of the behavioural expectations around protests and that racism, antisemitism or Islamophobia will not be tolerated.”

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