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1,700 staff, alumni call on Cambridge Uni to negotiate with pro-Palestine activists

May 9, 2024 at 1:40 pm

A Palestinian flag hangs from an arched window near tents belonging to pro-Palestinian protesters outside King’s College on 8 May, 2024 in Cambridge, England [Leon Neal/Getty Images]

Staff and alumni from the University of Cambridge have signed an open letter to express  their “solidarity with Cambridge students as they launch an encampment protesting the university’s ties to Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza.”

Students at Cambridge this week joined students at over a hundred universities around the world who are demanding universities divest from Israeli arms companies and those which support Tel Aviv’s genocide of Palestinians.

“They join an admirable tradition of emancipatory struggle that includes earlier student protests against South African apartheid and the war in Vietnam,” the open letter, which has been signed by over 1,700 signatories in the first 48 hours after  it was launched, said.

“We support our students’ right to free expression and protest. We celebrate our students’ courage in bringing urgent debates outside of the classroom environment to intervene in a catastrophic moment where we are witnessing the erosion of human rights and democratic principles.”

Signatories went on to call on the university administration to “constructively and substantively enter negotiations with the students regarding their demands” to disclose the institution’s financial ties with organisations and companies complicit in Israel’s violations of international law, divest from such organisations and to reinvest by supporting Palestinian students, academics and scholars and the reconstruction of higher education institutions in Gaza.

READ: UK Fire Brigades Union calls on members not to help police remove pro-Palestine protesters