Tents have been set up in the courtyard

University closes library's gate to prevent occupation (updated)

gaza palestina wittevrouwen protest foto DUB
Activists gather in front of the library's gate on Wittevrouwenstraat. Photo: DUB

The word was already out that another protest was going to take place on Thursday to oppose Israel's attacks in Gaza. The activists announced lectures, workshops, poetry and music in the courtyard of the city centre library. However, in the early afternoon, it looked like about twenty protesters had plans to occupy the library again, as they set up tents in the courtyard and named the spot Ten Al Azhar Encampment. The university closed the gates to the courtyard and all other doors giving access to the Drift complex as soon as it noticed the tents. Students and employees were only allowed inside the buildings if they showed a campus card at the entrance on Drift. This way, the twenty or so protesters who had set up the tents were isolated. No one was allowed to join them anymore, but they can leave the premises through the library.

tentjesgaza protest foto DUB

Other protesters and sympathisers are now gathered in front of the gates on Wittevrouwenstraat, where some of the activities from the intended programme are being carried out. About twenty people were sitting on the pavement at about 2:00 pm. The police are present in the area but are not doing anything. Students are still studying normally inside the library.

Around 3:00 pm, UU decided to close all buildings in the city centre. Students and employees in the buildings on Drift and Janskerkhof were asked to leave the premises. 

At about 8:00 pm, the demonstrators (including those who were in the courtyard) leave the library and march towards the town hall, where the Security Committee of the municipal council is holding a meeting about the police interventions that put an end to previous protests in university buildings. Some of the protesters are allowed to enter the town hall to watch the debate.

stadshuisgaza foto DUB