Nottingham University students launch encampment on campus in solidarity with Palestine

The encampment is one of many taking place across UK university campuses

Students from the University of Nottingham have launched an encampment on Jubilee Campus in support of Palestine.

On Friday night, 40 students set up tents outside the Advanced Manufacturing building on Jubilee Campus.

The group of students, who are referring to themselves as the Nottingham Camp for the Liberation of Palestine, have put up tents, gazebos and banners, calling on the university to cut ties with arms manufacturers who they claim are funding Israel.

The encampment is an escalation of previous action as two university buildings were occupied this academic year. A group was removed from the Coates Road Auditorium by bailiffs in December after a 12-day occupation, and in March, students occupied the ground floor of the Trent building. 

The students listed four demands for the university: To publish all “financial relations, partnerships and divestments”, to cut ties with companies and institutions involved with arms trade and associated with Israel, to support Palestinian students by providing “scholarships, hardship funds and bursaries, as well as protecting students’ right to protest in support of Palestine” and “commit to sending funds and resources to help rebuild Gaza’s infrastructure”.

Students from the group said: “I am horrified that my University is carrying out research on arms companies who are placing profit before human lives. The oppression of Palestine and its people is deeply entrenched even within our system of higher education.

“My University has said nothing while all the Universities in Gaza have been destroyed. We have to inform people in our community that our university is acting maliciously and ignoring students’ concerns. I will stay at the encampment as long as it takes for my university to cut all its ties with companies that are involved with murder.”

Another said:

“As an engineering student, I want to work for an ethical company, rather than being funnelled into working for an arms company and being complicit in death and destruction.

“There have been very few alternatives offered to me and people on my course. I’m at the encampment today because I want to be taught the skills to work in an ethical career and to show the university that students care about not just our own futures, but the future of others.”

A university spokesperson told The Tab Nottingham: “The University of Nottingham upholds freedom of speech and our priority is, and always will be, to ensure that opportunities to engage in debate or protest are safe, inclusive, respectful and responsible. In all the university does, it values inclusivity, ambition, openness, fairness, and respect.

“All academic staff follow rigorous research security, integrity and ethical procedures, and are bound by our own research code of conduct. Research arrangements with industrial partners are constructed fully in line with UK government legislation and the university does not undertake research relating to armaments or weaponry.”

The encampment is one of many popping up around the UK, others taking place at University of Warwick, University of Bristol, University of Sheffield and University of Leeds among others.

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