Cambridge For Palestine holds vigil for those killed by strikes in Rafah

A silent vigil was held on King’s Parade on Tuesday 28th May

Cambridge students held a vigil yesterday evening, Tuesday 28th May, to commemorate those killed by the recent airstrikes on Rafah. The strikes caused the deaths of at least 45 displaced people on Sunday 26th May and a further 21 people yesterday, as reported by the Guardian.

According to the BBC, around 800,000 people have fled Rafah in the last three weeks, whilst several hundred thousand displaced people remain in the city.

Yesterday saw a mostly silent vigil conducted by students belonging to the group Cambridge For Palestine, including a period of silent contemplation lasting two minutes and 34 seconds to reflect on the 234 days which have lapsed since 7th October. Varsity has reported that over 300 protestors were in attendance.

The vigil also included protestors writing names of those killed in the current conflict onto banners which were carried from Great St Mary’s to the encampment, alongside a banner which read “All Eyes on Rafah”.

This follows the disruption of  panel discussion including the director of GCHQ on Tuesday 21st May by King’s College students, who listed the names of children from Gaza who have died as a result of the current conflict whilst holding Palestinian flags, as reported by Varsity.

Although Cambridge City Council unanimously passed a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on Thursday 23rd May, the encampment outside King’s College remains in place.

The encampment was visited by Palestinian rapper Saint Levant on Sunday 19th May ahead of his appearance at the Cambridge Union

Students participating in the encampment remain steadfast that it will remain in place until Cambridge University agrees to disclose, divest and reinvest their investments in organisations “complicit” in the conflict in Gaza and protect at-risk Palestinian students.

Whilst negations reportedly began last week between Cambridge for Palestine and Cambridge University as a result of the expansion of the pro-Palestinian encampment to the lawn outside Senate House, an agreement is yet to be reached.

Nevertheless, cooperation between the university and protesting students appears to remain intact, even in wake of reports from the BBC that seventeen students belonging to the group Oxford Action for Palestine who were occupying university offices in Oxford were arrested on Thursday 23rd May.

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