Warwick University students camp outside the SU in solidarity with Palestine

Students are urging the university to divest with firms funding Israel’s military

Students at the University of Warwick have launched an encampment outside the Students’ Union in solidarity of Palestine.

Demonstrators, under the name Warwick Stands With Palestine, occupied the Warwick campus Piazza, calling on the university to divest with arms companies who they say are funding Israel’s military.

Around 1am on 26th April, protesters set up tents outside the SU to begin their occupation. The university’s offer holder day was then held the day after on Saturday 27th April.

With “more than 200 people supporting the occupation”, Warwick Stands With Palestine explain that it is a “cross-campus coalition of student and staff organisations which holds Palestinian liberation as a cause central to the struggle against exploitation and oppression”.

These protesters are urging the institution to meet four primary demands – to divest and cut ties with companies they believe to be “facilitating Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza”, to condemn Israeli war crimes in Palestine and call for a ceasefire; to pledge to assist the rebuilding of Gaza’s “destroyed education sector”; and to protect the freedom of speech for Palestinian students and staff.

One student at the University of Warwick said: “We set up on the in the early hours of the 26th April and we’re here because, we have, for the past over six months been campaigning, against the Warwick management.

“We have done sit ins, we’ve done protests, we’ve done open letters, we’ve passed some motion and the university has continued to ignore us.”

Many students wished to remain anonymous, as they feared discipline from the university. However, the university has since confirmed that there will be no threat of disciplinary action for protesting students.

A spokesperson for Warwick University said: “This demonstration is being managed in line with our legal duty and commitment to allow freedom of speech on campus.

“The University of Warwick will not initiate any disciplinary action against any protesters, organisers or students involved in the ongoing demonstration unless the University receives complaints that would have to be reviewed under the Duty of Care owed to all students.”

Featured image via @warwickstandswithpalestine on Instagram. 

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