Pro-Palestine students disrupt meeting between Exeter University senior management

Representatives of the university were compelled to meet with the encampment’s negotiation team

Exeter students protesting for Palestine disrupted a meeting this week between Exeter University senior management.

Protestors from the Exeter Liberation Encampment entered the meeting held on campus at Holland Hall on Wednesday 22nd May.

Marching to the hall from a regular weekly protest at the Forum, students’ call for senior management to address their demands resulted in the meeting being moved to another location.

This comes after an encampment was launched on Streatham campus on May 15th in solidarity with Palestine.

Representatives of Exeter University, including the Registrar, Mike Shore-Nye, were compelled to meet with the encampment’s negotiation team to discuss the students’ demands.

In line with the global student movement, of which there are over 150 student encampments worldwide, the Exeter students are working to protest the uni’s complicity in the Israeli occupation and genocide of the Palestinian people. The disruption of the senior management meeting was an escalation, following attempts at communicating with the administration, to be met with inaction.

A spokesperson for the Exeter students involved with the encampment spoke of the reason for the disruption, explaining that protestors are not aligned with the university’s actions: “Students in Exeter equally refuse to allow [the uni] to profit from and enable the Israeli occupation.”

They continued to explain that they expect action from the university, including listing a series of demands: “Their firm belief being that their education can not, and should never have, existed in tandem with the oppression of Palestinians.”

As well as the encampment, the students have submitted an open letter to the university’s management team. Social media activist and advocate for Palestinians, Chris Kunzler, also joined the encampment as a resident spokesperson.

The students’ demands of the University of Exeter are as follows: “DIVEST from and cut ties with all military, defence and security companies and partnerships directly involved in and benefitting from the occupation, oppression, and genocide in Palestine and elsewhere.

“SUPPORT Palestinian education by offering at least one scholarship in each department for students/scholars from Gaza, and also establishing partnerships with Palestinian universities to collaborate on rebuilding education in the Gaza strip.

“SAFEGUARD the protection of academic freedom and freedom of speech for students, staff, and allies engaging in supporting Palestine.”

For more information about the Exeter Liberation Encampment, see their Instagram, @ele4pal.

The University of Exeter has been contacted for comment.

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