Speakers expressed “heartbreak” over the university’s inaction on the ongoing conflict in GazaChristopher Lorde with permission for Varsity

Over 300 protesters gathered on King’s Parade yesterday (06/06) to mark one month since Cambridge for Palestine (CP4) set up its encampment outside King’s College in opposition of Cambridge’s ties to Israel.

The rally took place on King’s Parade, with protesters insisting “we are here for the long haul,” saying that they will not leave until the University divests from Israel.

The encampment was set up by C4P last month, demanding that Cambridge discloses and divests its financial ties to Israel, and that the University invests in rebuilding Palestinian universities and offers “sanctuary” to students fleeing conflict in Gaza.

Speakers at yesterday’s rally expressed “heartbreak” over the University’s alleged inaction on the ongoing conflict in Gaza. This comes after the encampment held a vigil for those killed in airstrikes in Rafah last week.

Another speaker demanded the University “open up these books” as part of a plea for transparency in its investments in companies associated with Israeli forces.

Multiple colleges have recently come under fire for investments in armaments companies, with Christ’s College JCR set to hold a referendum on investments in arms, and King’s College facing multiple protests over their investments. 

The group is currently in its second week of negotiations with the University, which has agreed to set up a “humanitarian response fund” for students affected by the conflict in Gaza, as well as other international crises.


Mountain View

Pro-Palestinian students disrupt encampment negotiations

The University is also funding of two scholarship places for Palestinian students, who would have otherwise been without funding, Varsity understands.

CP4 has described these developments as a “step in the right direction” but “not enough”. Speakers claimed that yesterday’s rally was intended to put further pressure on the University to meet all its demands, and remind the University “what protest sounds like”.

Earlier this month, the University told Varsity that its meetings with student representatives of C4P are not negotiations, but “a constructive dialogue” with students.

The University of Cambridge has been contacted for comment.