University students in Cairo, Sydney launch protests for Gaza amid crackdown in US

University students in Cairo, Sydney launch protests for Gaza amid crackdown in US
Students at the American University in Cairo and Sydney University have called for a ceasefire and divestment from companies linked to Israel.
3 min read
23 April, 2024
Protests have taken place at multiple universities around the world [Getty]

Students at Egypt’s American University in Cairo (AUC) have launched a pro-Palestine protest, calling for a ceasefire and for the administration to cut ties with corporations accused of supporting Israel, as a similar action was launched in Australia and a crackdown on pro-Palestine students in the United States continued.

According to Mada Masr, this is the third time in several days that AUC students have carried out protests and held up banners calling on the university to end ties with companies on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign list.

Dozens of protesters raised signs at the end of a seminar but were quickly met with campus security cracking down on them.

Mada Masr reported that one of the students outlined a list of demands, including cutting ties with Hewlett Packard (HP) and the French insurer AXA, as well as committing to full financial transparency in the future.

Campus security reportedly cut power off for the seminar hall while the list of demands was being read out, but students responded by chanting for Palestine.

The students also called out the university’s president for the attempt to quell the protest.

Protests in Australia 

A similar protest took place at Australia’s Sydney University, where students organised an encampment-style demonstration.

Video footage shared online shows dozens of students shouting "free Palestine" on the campus, while setting up tents on site.

The protests follow a pattern of large-scale protests growing across the US, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza as the death toll mounts.

Earlier this week, New York’s Columbia University announced it would be delivering online classes amid the growing protests and encampments in its New York campus.

Last week, over 100 people were arrested at Columbia University, the first such action taken by police in three decades.

Students there have called for divestment of the university's funds from companies linked to Israel, and a ceasefire in Gaza.

Since the arrests, a new encampment has emerged with hundreds of faculty members holding a mass walkout to protest over Columbia University’s president’s handling of the situation.

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On Monday evening, authorities also arrested at least 47 protesters at the Yale University campus in New Haven.

The university said it had repeatedly asked students to leave and warned them they could face law enforcement and disciplinary action if they didn’t.

Columbia and Yale have said any students participating in the action would be suspended.

Israel has waged an indiscriminate war on Gaza for over six months with the US providing military aid and diplomatic support.

Hospitals, residential buildings, schools, and other infrastructure have been targeted by missiles and bombs, leaving the enclave in ruins and its people on the brink of famine.

At least 34,100 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, and an additional 77,000 wounded in the same time frame.