Leeds students join the global student revolt in solidarity with Palestine

04 May 2024

By Scott Woodhouse

In the face of violent police repression of pro-Palestine student protesters in the USA, University of Leeds students walked out of classes on 1 May International Workers’ Day to set up an encampment outside their student union. Banners hung around the encampment read “No Pride in Apartheid!”, “No IDF on campus” and “Free Palestine”.

The Leeds Students Against Apartheid Coalition are a coalition of students protesting the university’s complicity in genocide.

Their demands to the University of Leeds are

A spokesperson for the encampment said: “We are here to protest the university’s complicity with Israeli genocide. Across the world in America and Britain the student movement has been at the forefront of the Palestine liberation movement. Support is strong on this campus from staff and students.

“There hasn’t been enough mass workers’ action to stop the genocide of Palestinians. Historically student movements have been the prologue of change. We saw it with the student protests in the Vietnam war. We are radical students protesting in the hope that this brings about a wider workers revolt.”

Violent police crackdowns at Columbia University USA have inspired a wave of encampments to be established in solidarity at campuses across the world. There are reports of similar encampments at Newcastle, Bristol, Sheffield, Manchester and Swansea universities.

British universities are a weak link in the chain of Zionist complicity with their reliance on a friendly brand image and student satisfaction surveys to attract applicants. University students and staff should unite, organising local councils of action to bring in the trade unions and other liberation movements, linking to the Rwanda bill’s racist attacks on migrants. Forcing concessions from British universities can strike a blow undermining the imperialist world order which perpetuates the genocidal war crimes the racist Israeli state is meting out against Palestinians.

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