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‘Until total liberation’: Oxford Pro-Palestine encampment continues 5th day

11 May 2024 - 22:26

Students from the University of Oxford continued an encampment Friday for a fifth day in solidarity with the Gaza Strip to demand full divestment from Israel and a boycott of Israel-linked companies.

Students have attended the encampment with dozens of tents outside the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford where people from different backgrounds are welcomed.
They continued protesting in an atmosphere of solidarity at the area where congressional Friday prayers were performed with the attendance of many.
Along with a prayer room, the encampment also includes a medical tent, snack area and meeting points, with many Palestinian flags and signs. One read: “Generation after generation, until total liberation.”
There is also a media room named after female Palestinian journalists killed by Israeli attacks and a memorial library, named after Refaat Alareer, a prominent Palestinian professor, poet and writer, who was killed in an airstrike in Gaza in December.
Despite Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent statement that urged university administrators to protect Jewish students from “harassment” and “anti-semitic abuse” at campuses, Jewish students are among attendees at the Oxford protest.
'I feel safer here at this encampment'
Kendall Gardner, a 25-year-old Jewish student, said she has “absolutely” no concern about being at the protest.
“I’ve been sleeping on campus since Monday and I would say that I feel safer here at this encampment than I usually do at the University of Oxford as a Jewish student,” she told Anadolu.
Gardner stated that protesters have invited other Jewish students from the university to come into the camp and have conversations, and they understand that some Jewish students feel very differently about what is happening in Gaza.
“But to us, that's really not the point. This is a genocide -- 1.7 million people are currently at risk of displacement during the current escalation in Rafah,” said Gardner.
“We are more than happy for Jewish students from around the community to come in and chat with us about that,” she added.
On their demands, Gardner said they are demanding that the university divest from all arms companies, specifically any involved in the "Israeli occupation apartheid in genocide currently happening in Gaza” and they are also demanding boycotts.
They also ask the university to commit to a Palestinian-led effort to rebuild universities in the Gaza Strip.
She stressed that they will continue protesting until their demands are met.
‘Oxford … has been deeply complicit in many kinds of colonial projects over the years'
Daniel Knorr, a 22-year-old biochemistry student at the University of Oxford, told Anadolu that protesters are taking action against the university “to encourage it to be less complicit in genocide.”
“Oxford, as an institution, has been deeply complicit in many kinds of colonial projects over the years, especially now with the apartheid and genocidal state in Israel,” he said.
Knorr said protesters are demanding the university disclose all information about its investments because they want to know whether their fees are being “used to fund the genocide.”
He said the university needs to immediately break ties with Israel and stop student programs with Israeli institutions.
“It feels terrible to just sit at home and accept,” he noted, adding that “he cannot be part of” the destruction.
Knorr stressed that although they have a joyous atmosphere at the encampment, at the same time they are full of rage and grief for what is happening.
Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas which killed less than 1,200 people.
Nearly 34,800 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and 78,100 injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.
Seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine, according to the UN.
Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January said it is "plausible" that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and ordered Tel Aviv to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.


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Taghribnews (TNA)