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LSE students vote for uni to divestment from weapons as Israel continues to bomb Gaza

June 6, 2024 at 5:00 pm

Students from the London School of Economics (LSE) Student Union Palestine Society occupy the ground floor of the LSE’s Marshall Building following a press conference to launch a divestment report on 14th May 2024 in London, United Kingdom. [Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images]

Students from the London School of Economics Students’ Union (LSESU) have overwhelmingly voted in favour of pushing for divestment from fossil fuels and weapons, including indirect investments.

A referendum held on Tuesday asked whether the LSESU should engage in dialogue with LSE senior leadership to advocate for full and meaningful divestment, including from indirect investments.

It comes as students have set up tents at the LSE to protest against the university’s ties with Israel. The pro-Palestinian activists are calling for the university to stop its “complicity in genocide of the Palestinian people, arms trade and climate breakdown.”

The motion, which saw an unprecedented turnout of 2,584 votes, passed with an 89 per cent approval.

Out of the total votes, 2,306 were in favour of the motion.

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With the motion officially adopted, the Sabbatical Officers will lead efforts to engage with the university’s senior leadership to ensure that LSE’s investment portfolio reflects the values and priorities of its student body, promoting transparency and accountability in the university’s financial decisions.

Ethan Chua, a member of the LSE Students’ Union Palestine Society, told the BBC last month that students aim to disrupt university operations until their demands are met.

He emphasised: “Our main message to LSE management is a call for divestment because we refuse to keep going to a university that is materially complicit in the destruction of our planet and the death of Palestinians.”

He added that approximately 50 people are occupying the university building and they plan to stay until the university addresses their demands.

Similar protests are being held at other institutions including SOAS and UCL, with students demanding their universities cut ties with entities supporting Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza.