Over 300 students protested outside the Cambridge Student Services building, in an attempt to disrupt negotiations with representatives from the Cambridge for Palestine (C4P) encampments inside the building.

Protesters stated they were aiming to “bring their mandate” to negotiations by making themselves heard in the negotiation room. This came after University representatives previously alleged C4P “weren’t representative” of the Cambridge student community.

University representatives previously alleged C4P “weren’t representative” of the Cambridge student community.Shelly Yang for Varsity

The negotiations were taking place in the Student Services Building on the New Museums Site, which holds 250 University administrative staff. After the Rally, C4P representatives said they “couldn’t hear ourselves speak in there,” congratulating the protesters on their disruption.

Before the rally began, a C4P representative announced that the University had agreed to fund two scholarship places for Palestinian students as a part of their negotiations with the group.

This was described as “a victory” but “not enough” by protesters, with one speaker stating “what are you doing, other than two scholarship places for students that are already in the country”.

One Speaker at the rally also took aim at King's College, criticising their  £240,000 investment in BoeingShelly Yang for Varsity

The two students will be current Palestinian offer-holders who were otherwise without funding.

The negotiations with C4P have been going on for over a week. The group set up encampments outside King’s College earlier this month, calling on the University disclose and divest from companies associated with Israel. C4P have stated they will not leave the site until their demands are met.

During the rally, protesters alleged pro-vice-chancellor for Education Bhaskar Vira and pro-vice-chancellor for University Community and Engagement Kamal Munir were “complicit in genocide,” while they were in the negotiations.

Munir and Vira were unable to leave the New Museums site for at least 5 minutesShelly Yang for Varsity


Mountain View

King’s students disrupt talk, calling for divestment from Israel

As Munir and Vira attempted to leave the negotiations, they were unable to move away from the New Museums site for at least 5 minutes as the gates to the site had been locked, preventing more protesters from joining the rally.

One Speaker at the rally took aim at King’s College over their £240,000 investment in Boeing, who the protesters stated “built the bomb that was used in the Rafah massacre”. This came after IDF forces launched airstrikes on Monday (27/05) against camps set up for displaced people in Rafah by the UN, reportedly killing 45 people.

The rally moved through the new museums site and the Cambridge's city centreShelly Yang for Varsity

King’s were previously criticised for their investment by King’s Cam for Palestine, who staged a protest at a talk hosted by the college’s Provost Gillian Tett. The Group is demanding that the College “the College to drop ties with “unethical” sponsors”.

After the negotiations concluded, the rally moved through the new museums site and Cambridge’s city centre, blocking traffic on the roads as they returned to encampments.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Bhaskar Vira commented that the University “have been working on the Humanitarian Response Fund for several months with the aim of providing much-needed support for students, including Palestinians, whose homelands are affected by conflict or crises and for whom that brings financial pressures. We want to support our students at such an incredibly difficult time.”

King’s College and Boeing have been contacted for comment.