Protesters were addressed by recently resigned SU officer Harvey BrownChristopher Lorde with permission for Varsity

Over 250 protesters from Cambridge for Paletsine’s (C4P) encampment staged a sit-in outside the Old Schools building, accusing the University of doing “everything except pull the trigger” in relation to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

The sit-in prevented dozens of University staff who work in Old Schools from entering, with one telling Varsity she was “not unhappy to miss the meeting” she was due to attend.

Recently resigned SU Welfare Officer Harvey Brown made a speech to protesters where he accused the University of being “detached from their students and the people of Palestine”. This is the first time Brown has spoken publicly since his resignation.

The sit-in was preceded by a rally organised by C4P to mark the 76th anniversary of the Nakba, the forced displacement of 750,000 Palestinians by Israeli forces.

Brown resigned yesterday via an Instagram post that was deleted an hour later, which accused the SU and University for being “fragrantly disconnected with student movements,” writing that neither institution “has to date condemned Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza”.

The sit-in prevented dozens of University staff from entering the Old SchoolsChristopher Lorde with permission fro Varsity

In October last year, Brown was forced to apologise for the “harm done” after he liked a tweet describing the October 7 Hamas attacks as a “day of celebration”.

Speaking to the crowd, Brown condemned University leaders saying that they “hide behind their walls; for them this is just another day in the office, but we are sat in the rain, away from our workplaces and our studies, and we are fighting”.


Mountain View

Cambridge students set up encampment outside Senate House

“Having worked there for the last year I was not ready to see how detached management and people who have the power at this place are from their students and from the people of Palestine”, he continued.

One activist expressed that they “cannot expect these vultures to divest willingly”, and another demanded more occupation in “there must be more occupations, there must be more of us taking control in every school, in every university, in every workplace”.

A speaker also attacked Rishi Sunak, who last week recommended universities to take “robust action” against encampments, along with Keir Starmer, stating they “have blood on [their] hands” over their inaction.

The University and the SU have been contacted for comment.