Cardiff Uni students are camping outside the Main Building in solidarity with Palestine

They set up on the front lawn after a rally outside the CSL

Cardiff University students have set up an encampment outside of the Main Building in solidarity with Palestine.

This comes after a brief protest was held near the Centre for Student Life earlier in the evening.

The protest started at 6pm today (14th May) with the CSL’s staff being told to vacate the building 30 minutes prior.

The main entrance to the CSL has also been closed with security standing outside, but students can still enter via the other entrance further down Park Place.

One student inside the Main Building told The Tab that security has asked them to stay away from the doors, and that if they leave the building, they won’t be allowed back in.

She said: “They’ve locked the front gates and told us to go out the back entrance. When we got to the back entrance, we were told we weren’t allowed to stand near the doors because they stay open and that if we left we wouldn’t be allowed back in.”

Another eyewitness said that people were taking it in turns to talk about the situation in Gaza and how they want to expand the encampment.

He added: “It’s so peaceful and good vibes, they just want the uni to divest.”

According to posts on social media, the aim of the protest is to “kick imperialism off campus”, and both students and workers were invited to join.

The event wasn’t under one society’s name specifically, but was organised by a number of groups such as: Cardiff Stop The War, Socialist Worker Student Society, BLM Cardiff and Vale, and Cymru Students For Palestine.

At the protest, one man shouted: “If you hate Zionism, clap your hands”, repeatedly.

He later chanted: “If you hate occupation, clap your hands.”

In a post about the event, Cymru Students For Palestine said it believes “Cardiff University, as with the universities of Wales as a whole, will try its best to bury links to organisations that fund and run the ongoing systematic destruction of Palestine.”

The post also asks the people of Cardiff to “join forces” to stop “genocide complicity” at the university.

The post also asks the people of Cardiff to “join forces” to stop “genocide complicity” at the university.

The group has also laid out its four key demands for Welsh universities.

These are for universities to “disclose their accounts and maintain full transparency in their investments and donations”, reject companies that are “active in the genocide”, and invest in Palestinian educational programmes.

Finally, it is asking universities “to support Palestinian students and faculty who have suffered as a result of the genocide, and protect students and faculty who hold or act upon pro-Palestinian beliefs”.

A message from the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Wendy Larner was released on 15th May, saying: “I am writing to make you aware that a group of pro-Palestinian protestors have set up a camp on Main Building’s Horseshoe Drive.

“As I have written before, I fully understand the strength of feeling provoked by the devastating toll of the ongoing Israel-Gaza war.

“As a University we must support the right to take part in lawful, peaceful and respectful protest. At the same time, it is important that all members of our community feel safe, respected and are free from harassment.

“We are monitoring the situation while also working to minimise disruption to staff, students and visitors to our campus.

“Main Building remains open but all staff and students will need to show ID cards to access the building, and to enter the building via Park Place.”

She also added that she understands the Israel-Gaza War may be “deeply upsetting” for staff and students and signposted to support which can be accessed via Student Connect, the Students’ Union, Care First, and the chaplaincy.

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