Pro-Palestine university protests spread to the UK

Pro-Palestine university protests spread to the UK
Protests in support of Gaza have spread to Warwick and London after encampments were set up at US colleges
3 min read
27 April, 2024
Protest in London calling for the end of Israel's war on Gaza [GETTY]

University protests have spread to the UK following similar actions across the United States.

Almost 300 students at the University of Warwick set up camp in the centre of the institution on Friday. The Warwick Stands with Palestine student-led coalition called for a rally and began an encampment at the university's piazza.

The group called for Warwick University to divest from companies that they say are linked to Israel’s current war on Gaza, including Rolls-Royce, Moog, and BAE Systems.

It is believed the university’s scientific and technological research is funded by R&D investments and partnerships from these companies, which are accused of selling weapons and equipment to Israel in its ongoing war on Gaza.

Warwick University student newspaper The Boar reported that the demonstration coincides with the university’s offer-holder day on Saturday to pressure the university administration to agree to their demands.

Among the coalition's demands are that Warwick University help reconstruct educational institutions in Gaza.

Students at University College London (UCL) also staged a rally, calling for a free Palestine and an end to the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

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Research from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) found that UK Universities collectively invest over £420 million in companies linked to Israel’s violations of international law.

The institutions include Russel Group universities like Queen Mary and Kings College London and world-renowned institutions Oxford and Cambridge.

PSC announced on Friday that the University of York confirmed it had divested from weapons manufacturers tied to Israel after a student-led coalition forced the institution to recognise their campaign.

US crackdown on campus protests

Warwick Stands with Palestine said on X that they are protesting in solidarity with “fellow students all over the world, from Columbia, NYC, to Paris, to Sydney” to stand against what they called Israel's "colonial genocide" in Gaza.

Protests spread across the US after over 100 students from Columbia University and its sister college, Barnard, who were protesting for Gaza were arrested at their encampment for “trespassing”, with some suspended for taking part.

The movement slowly snowballed into a nationwide standoff between US university administrations and students, calling for a ceasefire and divestment from companies linked to Israel.

Map of US campus protests


The protests and encampments were met with a crackdown from university authorities. State police became involved, brandishing batons, pinning professors down and arresting them and pushing pack crowds away.

US universities have been the hub of student-led protests since Israel's war on Gaza started last October, following a surprise Hamas attack.

Israel’s bombardment has killed over 34,000 Palestinians since then.