Students hung flags at city centre library

Protest for Palestine takes place at University Library

protest in UB
Photo: DUB

The students are part of the protest group Utrecht in Solidarity with Palestine. They hung flags in a study room and distributed flyers at the library. Other than that, the demonstration was silent. A spokesperson for the protesters says that they would not like to disturb the people who were studying during exam week.

A QR code on the flyer leads to an online petition published last Sunday by Master's students from the Faculty of Humanities. It has been signed by 850 people so far.

The students are not pleased by the statement published by UU on its website earlier this week. The university says it is not going to take a stance regarding the conflict and urges students and employees to maintain a respectful dialogue with people with other points of view. The students would like to talk to the Executive Board about this position.

Today, the educators and employees of the UU Decolonisation Group also published an open letter calling UU's statement into question. In their view, UU should take a stance regarding Israel's war crimes. In addition, they stress that the university did not hesitate to take a stance two years ago, when Russia invaded Ukraine.

A spokesperson for the university acknowledges that UU made use of "stronger words" when commenting on the situation in Ukraine. But, back then, the university also manifested its solidarity towards everyone affected by the conflict and stressed the importance of dialogue.

Still according to the spokesperson, the university has been requested more and more often to speak out regarding this type of issues. "We're searching for the best way to deal with this kind of demand, and we're still learning. We mostly choose not to react on political conflicts as an institution. By not taking a stance, we aim to prevent polarisation from taking hold at out university and make room for debate, academic or otherwise." 


Tags: Palestina