Creating new perspectives since 2009

German police violently clears pro-Palestinian camp at Berlin university

May 7, 2024 at 4:10 pm

Police intervene students set up camp at Free University of Berlin to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza on May 07, 2024, in Berlin, Germany [Halil Sağırkaya – Anadolu Agency]

German police today violently cleared a pro-Palestinian protest at a courtyard of the Freie Universitat Berlin, which had called for a stop to Israel’s military operation in Gaza, Reuters reports.

Some 100 people set up two dozen tents on the campus, joining a call by the “Student Coalition Berlin” to occupy German universities.

Students from various Berlin universities joined the protest, carrying Palestinian flags and shouting slogans supporting Palestinians and denouncing Israel and Germany.

The student group demanded that criminal charges be dropped against students and others who had shown solidarity with Palestinians on campuses, and for the universities to publicly oppose planned reforms to Berlin’s senate that would enable the expulsion of students on political grounds.

They also urged banning police from the campus and reinstating academics and staff members who were expelled or defunded because of their political stance.

Freie Universitat Berlin said the protesters tried to enter university rooms and lecture halls aiming to occupy them, and that the university filed criminal complaints and suspended lectures in several buildings.

“This kind of protest is not dialogue oriented. An occupation of university property is not acceptable. We welcome academic debate and dialogue – but not in this form,” said Guenter Ziegler, president of Freie Universitat Berlin.

Student protests over the war and academic ties with Israel have begun to spread across Europe.

The students are protesting Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza, in which the occupation state has killed nearly 35,000 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom have been children and women.

“There were isolated cases of deprivation of liberty for incitement to hatred and trespassing Freie Universitaet Berlin,” Berlin police wrote in a post on social media platform X, adding that those who would not comply with the orders would be taken by police and later reported.

READ: Turkiye aims to reach $60 billion in trade relations with Germany