A coalition of groups rallied to put pressure on the University's ties with the fossil fuel and arms industriesXR Cambridge with permission for Varsity

A coalition of climate justice and Palestinian solidarity groups staged a sit-in at the University today, attacking Cambridge’s links to companies which are “involved in producing weapons” used by Israel and “deeply complicit in the climate and ecological crisis”.

The sit-in and picket, at the University’s Maxwell Centre on the West Cambridge site, was attended by student and resident members of the Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Cambridge Stop the War, Just Stop Oil (JSO) Cambridge, the Organisation of Radical Cambridge Activists (ORCA), and Extinction Rebellion (XR) Cambridge.

The groups are protesting the partnerships held by the Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LSC), a University research group, with arms and fossil fuel companies, including BAE Systems, Boeing, BP, and Schlumberger.

Activists gathered outside of the building, holding Palestinian flags and leafleting with passers-by, while others gave speeches inside the Centre, criticising the “devastating impact” of the laboratory’s partnerships.

XR Cambridge with permission for Varsity

The campaigners allege that these companies are “deeply complicit in the climate and ecological crisis we are currently facing, and on which the University of Cambridge claims to be taking action”.

The LSC’s industry partners include arms companies which “produce arms used by the Israeli military in its bombardment of Palestinians living in Gaza,” the groups said.

A representative of Cambridge Stop the War said: “Our government is complicit in the ongoing genocide of the people of Gaza. We call on the University of Cambridge to divest from companies that profit from the misery of others.”


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“Our brightest minds should be employed in researching solutions to global inequality and Just Transitions, not creating new and horrific ways of maiming and killing civilian men, women and children,” they said.

A member of Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign who attended the sit-in said: “There is no justification for the UK state, business or the University of Cambridge to be complicit in the genocidal nature of the ongoing colonisation and control systems that Palestinians endure.”

Earlier this month, hundreds of students gathered on Sidgwick site to call for the University to cut ties with Israel. Harvey Brown, the SU’s Welfare and Community Officer, told attendees: “The names on the bombs that are being dropped on Rafah right now are the same as names on the spreadsheets that the University produces at the end of the financial year.”

The University of Cambridge has been contacted for comment.