Pro-Palestinian Protests Sweep European Universities: A Global Stand

In Europe, Police Arrest Protesters and Clear Encampments at Universities

European Police Action Against Pro-Palestinian University Protests

Across several countries in Europe, students are staging pro-Palestinian sit-ins and protests on university grounds. Mirroring the response seen in the U.S., authorities are opting to shut these protests down.

Amsterdam and Berlin: A Look at Police Intervention

At the University of Amsterdam, approximately 125 students were arrested by the police on Tuesday. Their protest camp, fortified with wooden barricades, was reminiscent of similar demonstrations in the U.S.

In Berlin, the German police cleared a related encampment at the Free University. This protest included several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators, and like the Amsterdam protest, it began on Monday, shortly after U.S. campuses saw a wave of mass arrests.

Protest Developments in Amsterdam

According to university officials in Amsterdam, the protest began peacefully. However, it quickly descended into an “unsafe and grim situation”. Fireworks were launched, physical attacks occurred, and an Israeli flag was burned. As a result, the city’s public prosecutor and mayor made the decision to deploy the police, a move the university executives deeply regretted.

A significant demand from European universities echoes those made by protesting students in the United States. Specifically, they are calling for universities to disclose their investment streams and divest from those supporting Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian Campus Protests Spread Across Britain and France

Similar to America, tent cities have sprung up in Britain at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Here, protesters have declared “liberated zones” on campus. Demonstrations have also taken place in Bristol, Leeds, and Manchester. In France, at the elite Sciences Po, students occupied a campus building last week and refused to leave. On Friday, the police removed dozens of students.

Protests Prompt Action at Trinity College, Dublin

In Ireland, a student encampment at Trinity College, Dublin, led to the closure of a popular exhibition on the Book of Kells, a renowned medieval illuminated gospel manuscript. This occurred on the eve of a busy tourist season. Following discussions with the student protesters, Trinity officials have started the process of divesting from certain companies operating in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

As these protests continue to unfold across European universities, the world watches with keen interest. The response of authorities and the actions of these demonstrators will undoubtedly shape the discourse around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in academia and beyond.