The crowd was the largest Cambridge has seen since the encampment began earlier this monthChristopher Lorde with permission for Varsity

Over three hundred protesters held a rally (28/05) on King’s Parade in solidarity with the Cambridge for Palestine (C4P) encampment, calling on the University to divest from companies associated with Israel.

The rally was followed by a “silent vigil for the martyrs of the attacks on Rafah” in memory of the dozens of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on the city on Monday (27/05) as a part of an ongoing offensive. Initial reports stated that 45 people were killed in the strikes.

The airstrikes hit camps that had been set up for displaced people in Rafah by the UN. The assault has triggered international condemnation, including from the French President, the German Vice-Chancellor, and the International Court of Justice.

Benjamin Netenyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, called the strikes a “tragedy”.

During the vigil participants wrote the names of dead Palestinians onto banners, and carried an “all eyes on Rafah” banner in condemnation of the attacks. The vigil was held in silence, with protesters at the rally commenting on the “sombre mood” at the camp following attacks on Rafah.

These demonstrations come as negotiations continue between C4P and the University over their demands for Divestment from Israel. No progress has been announced by either party.

The C4P encampment has been in place outside King’s College since the beginning of this month. Last week, students set up a second camp outside Senate House, which was dismantled days later when the University agreed to meet with student representatives.


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C4P is demanding that the University disclose its holdings in companies involved in Israel’s military operations in Gaza, and divest from such institutions.

The Israeli offensive in Gaza has also been condemned by college JCRs, with the Trinity College Student Union (TCSU) releasing a statement expressing “solidarity with the people of Palestine” and calling for an “immediate and permanent ceasefire,” yesterday.

TCSU also confirmed reports that Trinity plans to divest from all arms companies, including “those complicit in the violence and bombing happening in Gaza,” claiming that the decision had been communicated to the TCSU committee by “members of the college”.

A spokesperson from Trinity College told Varsity: “Trinity College continues to review its investments regularly.”

The University of Cambridge has been contacted for comment.