Goldsmiths students protest and occupy against uni ties with Israel state

by Chloe Leslie, Goldsmiths student and South East London Socialist Party

Students at Goldsmiths University in south London have protested to demand that the university cut its ties with the Israeli regime, and divest from companies that support the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The demonstration was part of a wider campaign by the group ‘Goldsmiths for Palestine’ which has been occupying the Professor Stuart Hall building, with teach-ins, protests, talks and rallies.

Protesters demand that Goldsmiths adopts a clear stance on the unfolding situation. Speakers raised points such as upholding academic freedom and freedom of expression for students and staff who criticise Israel, and explained the role students played in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Some demands included divesting from companies, and supporting the rebuilding of Gazan educational infrastructures through partnerships, scholarships, and preservation of archives.

The university issued a statement saying that it respects the right of students to express their views peacefully and lawfully, but that it does not endorse or support any political position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

At the time of publication, Goldsmiths management have yet to meet with the organisers of the occupation after “fraught negotiations”.