Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 53 Number 31, November 18, 2023 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Demand a Ceasefire!

Mass Student Walkouts at Universities across Britain

Students walk out at Kings College London standing witht he Palestinian people.

It is reported by agencies that students at 28 universities across Britain staged walkouts on November 9 and 10, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, and the immediate end to the Israeli genoicde against the Palestinian people in Gaza. Many of the universities were taking part in a synchronised walkout, citing the "increased securitisation and monitoring of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian students".

Islington students walk out standing with the Palestinian people.

Universities taking part included Oxford, King's College London, the London School of Economics (LSE) and Edinburgh University.

Students walked out of their classes, seminars and lectures calling on their institutions to demand an immediate ceasefire and end to the complicity of Britain in Israel's genocide in Gaza and its funding for this genocide.

Thirty Palestine societies from universities across Britain released a joint statement saying that "the hostile environment that is being encouraged by university administrators has effectively banned Palestinians from their right to publicly grieve the catastrophe befalling their people in Gaza". The statement added that officials on campuses are forbidding Palestinians from flying their national flag and preventing gatherings where they may even mourn their dead, forcing them to conceal their identity. The statement elaborates that speech restrictions are chillingly affecting Palestinians and pro-Palestinian voices in places that are meant to be bastions of free speech and intellectual debate.

Over a hundred students participated in the protests at LSE.

At King's College London (KCL), around 300 students staged a loud and energetic walkout at 12.30pm, on November 9, accumulating outside the Strand campus and blocking the road. There were a number of speakers, including from University Students for Justice for Palestine. There were also two speakers from UCU branches. Speakers affirmed the Palestinians' right to resist. Students said that is unacceptable for KCL to keep silent over Israel's genocide, as well as continuing with the links with Israeli universities. They also mourned Dr Maisara Alrayyes, an alumnus of KCL, a 28-year-old medical student on a grant, who had been killed when struck by an Israeli missile. The walkout concluded at 2.00pm.


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