Lincoln students camp outside university Arts Centre in solidarity with Palestine

Students are protesting against the university’s investments in Israeli funded organisations

Students at the University of Lincoln are four days into an encampment on campus in support of Palestine.

The Palestine Solidarity Society put up tents in front of the Lincoln Arts Centre on Monday night to protest the conflict in Gaza and show solidarity for people in Palestine.

The camp is one of 25 protest encampments on university campuses all across the country set up in support for people in Palestine and urging universities to cut investments in Israeli funded organisations.

The demands outlined by protestors include divestment from companies linked to Israel, and adherence to its own ethical investment policy, which outlines that the institution will not invest in organisations which are injurious to health or may threaten international stability.

Students are also calling for the university to commit to total investment transparency, as well as introduce a scholarship programme for Palestinian international students.

Alongside the protest, the Palestine Solidarity Society released a petition and open letter to the university that listed a series of demands. Since the establishment of the encampment on Monday, the petition has since received over 1,000 signatures.

Mason Groves, a student at the University of Lincoln and member of the Palestine Solidarity Society, explained why the protest was important. He told The Lincoln Tab: “We are here because no one else is. A lot of people coming down have said they are glad we are doing something  because they haven’t been able to.

“We present ourselves as a vanguard and a way to show students that there are people out here fighting for the halt of the genocide and fight imperialism on campus.”

In an email sent to students, University of Lincoln vice chancellor, Neal Juster, acknowledged the encampment and its posible affects on students.

A University spokesperson said: “The university is aware of a small peaceful protest on our campus and an open letter from the Palestine Solidarity Society. The conflict in Gaza is understandably a cause of great concern among people across our community. As previously stated, we condemn acts of violence against innocent civilians and call on all parties in the conflict to respect international law and to seek peaceful resolution.
“The university welcomes staff and students from many countries, backgrounds and perspectives as One Community. We remain united in the defence of our shared values as one community of diverse nationalities, faiths and cultures.
“We also have a legal responsibility to protect academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law. This includes respecting the right to peaceful protest. Importantly, the University has a duty to protect our students and staff from hate. We will not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia or any form of racial or religious discrimination, harassment or abuse targeting members of our community.
“The university is intrinsically connected to its place in Lincolnshire, and our industry-aligned research supports the region’s capacity and capability in UK defence and security, which is also critical to other regional and national priorities, such as UK food and energy security including the transition to green energy. We have robust oversight structures and policies in place to ensure research, strategic partnerships and investments take place within agreed ethical and regulatory frameworks.”

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