On Friday the 23rd of January, over 100 Cambridge University students occupied the Law Faculty as a protest against the actions of Israel in Gaza. The action is in solidarity with similar occupations at more than a dozen British Universities across the country, at which students are making demands of their institutions. These include: scholarships for Palestinian students, donation of educational materials to rebuild the Palestinian education system, divestment from the arms trade, and full access of humanitarian aid to Palestine.
The students have started a blog to tell their side of the story, and there is a facebook group and photos on flickr. Incidents have included a "soup war" and a visit from Craig Murray (a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan). Many statements of support can be read on the campaign blog.
Update 29/1/09: The occupation ended today at 11 am.
The students demands are
- We demand that Cambridge University issue a statement which condemns: Israel’s action in Gaza; the Israeli blockade of Gaza; and the continued Israeli presence in Gaza and the West Bank. This statement is to be issued in solidarity with international peace movements, in particular those in Israel and Palestine.
- We demand that Cambridge University provide academic aid, particularly books, computers and financial support to universities in Gaza.
- We demand that Cambridge University commit to a day of fundraising for humanitarian aid in Gaza within the next two weeks, as part of an ongoing commitment to financial support for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
- We demand that Cambridge University grant a minimum of ten scholarships to Palestinian students every year.
- We demand that Cambridge University and its colleges disinvest from the arms trade in cooperation with the existing Cambridge (and colleges) Against the Arms Trade movement.
- We demand that no student will face punishment or repercussions, legal or otherwise, for participating in this demonstration.