General admission graduations are scheduled to take place at Senate House next weekAlice Mainwood for Varsity

Cambridge University’s central leadership building, Senate House, has been sprayed red in protest against the University’s alleged ties to arms firms that supply the Israeli military.

This comes as General admission graduations are scheduled to take place at Senate House from Wednesday (26/06) to Saturday (29/06).

The action was announced this morning by Palestine Action and Youth Front for Palestine (YFFP) via Instagram. The post cites that the action was done by “Cambridge students, in collaboration with Palestine Action”.

Senate House is a Grade I listed building which was opened in 1730. It has historically been used as the meeting place for the University Senate, but is now the site of all Cambridge graduation ceremonies.

Palestine Action and YFFP accused the University of investing in partnerships that are enabling “Palestinian genocide”.

The post also stated that “ahead of planned graduations at the hall, the Senate House is now drenched in red, symbolising the ongoing complicity in Palestinian bloodshed”.

The post also links to the song ‘Hind’s Hall’ by Macklemore, which was released in May in support of American student protesters calling for their universities to divest from Israel.

One student at the scene, who is set to graduate next week, described the sight as “quite striking,” saying that while they “assume they’ll clean it all up before [graduation ceremonies]”, it was making them feel “a bit worried about what might actually happen at graduation”.

Another passer-by questioned whether the action was taken in relation to the conflict in Gaza, and expressed their hope that the action was taken by “students who actually have skin in the game”.

Cambridge for Palestine (C4P), the activist group responsible for the encampment set up on King’s Parade, was tagged in the Instagram statement but have not claimed a role in the action.

The protest comes after C4P set up a second encampment outside Senate House last month ahead of honorary Masters graduation ceremonies, in an attempt to pressure the University to meet their demands. The camp was soon dismantled after Cambridge agreed to meet with student representatives of C4P. The encampment outside King’s College is still in place.

A University spokesperson told Varsity: “We strongly condemn this act of vandalism.”

Palestine action commented that: “”All universities in Gaza have been damaged, most of them are completely destroyed. The University of Cambridge is facilitating the ongoing destruction and genocide in Gaza, which is incomparable to paint on the Senate Hall.”

“Many students have spent day and night for weeks on end demanding the university divest and Palestine Action supports their demands”, they continued.

Youth Front for Palestine has been contacted for comment.