Cambridge for Palestine, the group behind the action, launched an encampment outside King's College last monthAnonymous for Varsity

Pro-Palestine activists disrupted St John’s College May Ball last night, calling on the College to cut ties with companies associated with Israel.

The protesters climbed the walls of the College’s New Court building and dropped a banner calling on the Cambridge college to “divest from genocide”.

The activists then launched flares in Palestinian colours above the building and claimed that John’s is “complicit in genocide”. During the protest, students were heard applauding the protesters and chanting “free Palestine”.

Cambridge for Palestine (C4P), the group responsible, demanded in an Instagram post that the College “immediately discloses and divests from all ties to the genocidal Israeli offensive in Gaza”.

C4P also claimed that the College “actively refuses even to disclose its ties to Israel,” unlike colleges such as King’s or Christ’s which have acknowledged their ties to investments in arms companies involved in the war in Gaza.

St John’s College is the second richest of all Cambridge Colleges, with an endowment of over £600 million, as of 2022.

St John’s May Ball has been described as the “seventh best party in the world” and costs £265 for a ticket, offering guests fireworks, drone displays, and music performances.

C4P set up an encampment outside King’s parade 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.


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The group also stated that they “will not rest until all colleges disclose and divest from their academic and financial ties” to Israel.

C4P are currently in negotiations with the University over their demands, and recently gained the support of the Student’s Union after a motion endorsing the encampment was passed last week.

This action comes days after it was revealed that King’s College has commissioned a review of their investments, following student pressure to cut ties with Israel and the arms industry.

St John’s May Ball Committee and St John’s College have been contacted for comment.