Pro-Palestine protesters target Nancy Pelosi during speech at Oxford University

Pro-Palestine protesters target Nancy Pelosi during speech at Oxford University
As she spoke at Oxford University, Nancy Pelosi was interrupted by demonstrators who held up Palestine flags and were later removed by five police officers.
3 min read
27 April, 2024
Palestine activists targeted Nancy Pelosi earlier this year over her party's backing for Israel's war in Gaza [GETTY]

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was confronted by pro-Palestine protesters during a speech at the University of Oxford in England this week, as college campuses in the US continue to be rocked by huge anti-war student demonstrations.

Pelosi was participating in a debate at the university's Oxford Union on Thursday when her speech was interrupted by two demonstrators who stood up and held Palestinian flags in front of the veteran politician.

In advance of Pelosi's appearance at the prestigious debating hall, over one hundred students had gathered outside the venue for a demonstration calling for an end to Israel's war in Gaza, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians amid diplomatic and military support from the US.

Protesters from the UK group 'Youth Demand' walked in front of Pelosi after she took to the podium and held up Palestinian flags for some 20 minutes, until five police officers entered the venue and removed them, according to Oxford's student newspaper Cherwell.

Pelosi's speech at times was reportedly drowned out by the sounds of pro-Palestine protesters outside who were calling for the US to cut military aid to Israel and for Oxford University authorities to stop "harassing" students over the protests, according to the report.

In a post on Instagram, Youth Demand, who was behind the stunt at the Oxford Union, said "warmongers" like Pelosi were not welcome on campus.

"When children are being murdered, and hospitals are being bombed, we will not sit down and be quiet whilst these people are given platforms," the group said, in reference to the war in Gaza, which has seen at least 34,488 people, including at least 14,000 children, killed.

Pelosi, who is from President Joe Biden's Democratic Party and twice served as Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has recently called for Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign over the war.


A post shared by Youth Demand (@_youthdemand)

She said that Netanyahu was obstructing a pathway to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine and should stand down, although she has also expressed support for what she called "Israel's right to defend itself" in its  war on Gaza, despite widespread accusations that the Israeli military is committing war crimes

President Joe Biden signed a major bill this week giving Israel some $15 billion to replenish its military supplies.

In response to pro-Palestine protests which have swept US colleges over the past week, Pelosi said there was "complete justification" for speaking out about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza but said protesters should call out Hamas’ actions too.

"I've said to those [protesters] you care about what Hamas has done, do you care about what happened in Israel, would you not, if that happened here would we not have a response?" she said in a recent interview with the BBC.

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Universities across the US have witnessed massive pro-Palestine protests and sit-ins which have faced intense police crackdowns with hundreds of students arrested.

The US student protesters are calling for their colleges to divest from Israeli linked companies and cut ties with Israeli education institutions, as well as calling for an end to the war and for Palestinian rights.

Earlier this year, Pelosi came under fire when she claimed that protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza were "connected to Russia".

In February, pro-Palestine activists dumped manure outside Pelosi's home in California in a move targeting her party's backing for Israel.