Police quell pro-Palestinian protests on campuses in Berlin and Amsterdam | Protest News

Police have crushed a protest by hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who took over the courtyard of the Free University of Berlin, the latest action by authorities similar to protests that have roiled campuses in the United States and have spread across Europe. .

The move on Tuesday came after activists set up about 20 tents and formed human chains around them to protest Israel’s war on Gaza.

Most wore medical masks and keffiyeh scarves on their heads, shouting slogans such as “Long live Palestine.” Police called on students to leave the university campus in Germany’s capital.

Police were seen taking away some students, and scuffles broke out between police and protesters. Authorities used pepper spray against some demonstrators.

“The people’s demands are very clear and basically mean it’s time for Germany to join protests around the world,” NDMT’s Dominic Cain said.

“They are demanding an end to the genocide they say is taking place in Gaza. They also say that students who participate in these protests should not be banned or lose their status as students. “And that’s what many students who participated in the protests fear,” Cain said. scene.

School administrators said in a statement that after the protesters refused to engage in any dialogue, police were called in to clear the campus.

“This form of protest is not aimed at dialogue. Profession has no place on the FU Berlin campus,” said Rector Günter Ziegler. FU is an abbreviation for Free University. “We are open to academic dialogue, but not in this format.”

According to administrators, some demonstrators tried to break into and occupy rooms and lecture halls at Free University.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupy the courtyard of the Free University of Berlin (FU) in a protest camp [Annegret Hilse/Reuters]

Amsterdam camp disbanded

Earlier on Tuesday, police arrested around 140 activists who broke up a similar pro-Palestinian camp at the University of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam police said on social media that their actions were “necessary to restore order” after protests turned violent. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Video from the scene aired by state broadcaster NOS shows police using mechanical excavators to push down barricades, before officers with batons and shields move in, punching some demonstrators and pulling down tents. The situation is reflected. NOS reported that protesters set up barricades with wooden pallets and bicycles.

After quelling the protests in Amsterdam by early Tuesday afternoon, police cordoned off the area with metal fencing. Students were sitting along the banks of a nearby canal.

“The war between Israel and Hamas has had a significant impact on individual students, faculty and staff,” the school said in a statement. “We share the anger and embarrassment about the war, and we understand that there are protests against it. We emphasize that the only answer is to have a dialogue about it within the university. “I will.”

Somewhere else?

Camps apparently inspired by the wave of protests on U.S. campuses have also sprung up in Finland, Denmark, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom in recent days.

In Finland, dozens of protesters from the Palestine Solidarity Student Union set up a camp outside the main building of the University of Helsinki and vowed to remain there until the university, Finland’s largest academic institution, severed its academic ties with the Israeli university. Stated.

In Denmark, students set up a pro-Palestinian camp at the University of Copenhagen, erecting around 45 tents outside the Faculty of Social Sciences campus. The university said students could protest, but urged them to respect campus rules. “Seek dialogue rather than confrontation, and make room for perspectives other than your own,” administrators said at X.

Members of the activist group Students Against Occupation have spoken on their Facebook page about withdrawing investment from the school from companies linked to activities in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories over the past two years. He said he has been trying to hold talks with the government, but no results have been achieved. Very vain.

“We can no longer be satisfied with cautious dialogue that does not lead to concrete action,” the group said.

In Italy, students from the University of Bologna, one of the world’s oldest universities, pitched tents over the weekend to demand an end to the war in Gaza as Israel prepares to attack in Rafah. Despite pleas to the contrary from Western allies. Student groups organized similar protests in Rome and Naples, which were largely peaceful.

In Spain, dozens of students spent more than a week in a pro-Palestinian camp on the Valencia University campus. Similar camps were set up at the University of Barcelona and the University of the Basque Country on Monday. A group representing students at Madrid’s public universities announced that they would step up protests against the war in the coming days.

On Friday, French police peacefully removed dozens of students who had gathered to support the Palestinians from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (also known as the Academy of Sciences).

On Tuesday, students from the prestigious university, whose alumni include French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal and President Emmanuel Macron, were seen entering the campus to sit their exams unobstructed as police stood at the entrance. It was done.

Protests also occurred last week at other French universities, including Lille and Lyon. Mr Macron’s office said police had been asked to remove students from 23 locations on French campuses.

Related Article


Leave a Comment