C4P announced a deadline of 5pm today for the senior administration to "respond to their demands"Christopher Lorde with permission for Varsity

Cambridge academics led a march today (14/05), delivering an open letter to University officials that demands the University divest from Israel to Cambridge University officials.

The march of over a hundred protesters was led by over ten faculty members wearing academic gowns.

Pro-vice-chancellors Bhaskar Vira and Kamal Munir met the protestors outside the Old School gates and took the envelope from Dr Kareem Estefan, Assistant Professor of Film and Screen Studies, who was seen having a brief conversation with Vira after the handover.

The letter was addressed to the University vice-chancellor and pro-vice-chancellors, emphasising the demands of the Cambridge for Palestine encampment, which has now entered its second week outside King’s College.

Protesters then remained outside the Old Schools building chanting “Cambridge University has blood on its hands” before returning to the encampment.

C4P held a similar demonstration last week, when over two hundred protesters marched to Old Schools to deliver six individually addressed letters to Cambridge’s vice-chancellor and each of its pro-vice-chancellors.

This morning, C4P announced a deadline of 5pm today for senior administration to “respond to their demands” and “hold a negotiation meeting”.

The Cambridge for Palestine (C4P) encampment has gained widespread support from University academics. The letter, reiterating the encampment’s demands for the University to “divest, disclose and reinvest” its holdings in companies associated with Israel, has amassed over 300 signatures from academic staff.

Speaking to Varsity, Estefan said: “We were delivering a letter to the vice-chancellor and pro-vice-chancellors, so they know student demands and know that there is widespread faculty, staff, and alumni support for those demands.”

“I think that it’s important that all members of this university community weigh in and say that we are not okay with investment in arms companies and any direct investment to the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” he continued.

Today’s demonstration comes after Trinity College reportedly voted to divest from all arms companies in March, a development the encampment organisers labelled a “victory”, while stating that “there is a still a long way to go”.


Mountain View

Pro-Palestinian encampment hands demands to Cambridge heads

C4P have claimed that the encampment will continue until their demands have been met.

The demonstration came just a few hours after Harvey Brown announced his resignation as the SU’s Welfare and Communities Officer, attacking the organisation’s stance on the Israel-Gaza war.

Professor Bhaskar Vira, pro-vice-chancellor for education, told Varsity: “The University has been in regular and ongoing contact with students who have been impacted by the tragic events in Gaza and Palestine. We support freedom of speech and protest within the law. From the first day of this protest last week, with my colleague Prof Kamal Munir, we have been extremely clear that we would be happy to talk with our students and engage with them.”

“To date we have received only anonymous emails. We remain ready for constructive engagement with our students, but it is impossible to have a conversation with an anonymous group,” he said.