The ceremonies set to take place on Friday and Saturday will be held at Downing College.CHRISTOPHER LORDE with permission for Varsity

Cambridge for Palestine (C4P) has dismantled its Senate House encampment following the University’s agreement to provide amnesty to representatives who wish to engage in conversation with the pro-vice-chancellors for a negotiation meeting.

A spokesperson for C4P told Varsity that the aim of the Senate House encampment was for the university to “take the protest seriously and set up a negotiation meeting”.

“We were never wishing to disturb graduation ceremonies”.“We know the value of graduations but we felt like we were forced and had to escalate”, they told Varsity.

Regular negotiations between the activist group and the University are set to begin next week, Varsity understands.

This comes as Cambridge University announced this evening that it would relocate its graduation ceremony tomorrow morning to Downing College due to the continued presence of activists outside the lawn of Senate Hall at the time.

The University said that it “regrets” the “very difficult decision to make alternative arrangements” for the graduations this Friday and Saturday.

They said that all students willing to graduate this weekend “will still be able to attend their Degree Congregation at an alternative location that is fitting of the occasion”.

This morning, graduation went ahead undisrupted at Downing College. Following the ceremony, graduates were told to proceed to the now-cleared Senate House grounds for photos. 

A security presence was visible at both Downing and the Senate House. No protests took place at either location.

Activists set up the new encampment outside the Senate House Building on Wednesday in an escalation of their previous actions after the University failed to meet C4P’s demands to open negotiations.

The group confirmed that, as of yesterday evening (16/05), it had no plans to disrupt any graduation ceremonies.

They did acknowledge, however, that they anticipated the graduation event and entered the Senate House grounds with the intention of pressuring the University to agree to negotiations.

Throughout the week, protesters have claimed that they would remain on the grounds until the demands were met. In rallies earlier this week, students were heard chanting: “Let your students graduate; come and negotiate.”


Mountain View

Suella Braverman visits Cambridge encampments

Pro-vice chancellor Professor Bhaskara-Vira told Varsity earlier this week: “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.”

The group held a rally at 9pm yesterday (16/05) which welcomed around 200 people and saw campers leave the Senate House site. They had encouraged people to join the rally "to celebrate [their] comrades as they return home to the main encampment on King's Parade".

This comes after Suella Braverman visited the encampment yesterday, along with GB News.