Pro-Palestinian campus protests held across Sweden

Students demand permanent cease-fire, end to ‘genocide', occupation in Palestine, says climate activist Greta Thunberg, taking part in demonstrations

12:22 - 15/05/2024 Çarşamba
File photo
File photo

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations were being held across Sweden on Tuesday as university students pitched tents to protest Israel's ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip.

The protests erupted as campus encampments have shaken US universities in recent weeks, with 21-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg among those protesting outside Stockholm University.

"Students all over Sweden are today joining the global student uprisings and are now occupying universities in Sweden, against the genocide in Palestine, for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the occupation," Thunberg said on X.

Tents and Palestinian flags were seen outside the University of Gothenburg and several other campuses across the Nordic country.

"We are here because there is a genocide against Palestinians. Stockholm University has four agreements with Israeli universities, all of which expressed support for the genocide," student protester Emma Bastas was quoted as saying by local leading newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Police vehicles were stationed outside universities amid the demonstrations which have been peaceful, the newspaper reported.

Protesters are demanding that Swedish universities end all collaborations with Israeli universities.

"I am here in solidarity with the Palestinian people. I can't even imagine how they feel and I don't want my studies at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm) to be connected in any way to what is happening in Gaza," another student, Simone, said, according to Dagens Nyheter.

Students in the city of Gothenburg, about 225 kilometers (140 miles) north of Stockholm, demonstrated alongside university staff to demand that the university report its collaborations with Israel and end all links.

They also want to see their school publicly distance itself from Israel's onslaught.

In the city of Lund further south, tents have been set up in front of the Royal Palace building, which houses the management of Lund University.

Pro-Palestine campus protests have been persistent in the US since April 17, when students at Columbia University in New York launched an encampment in solidarity with Gaza and demanded that their school divest from Israel.

More than 2,000 people have been arrested at US campuses since last month amid heavily polarized debates over the right to protest, the limits of free speech and accusations of antisemitism.

Demonstrations and sit-ins are also being held on campuses in parts of Europe, including France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, amid a wider call against Israeli attacks on Gaza that have killed more than 35,000 people, mostly women and children, and injured almost 79,000 amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities, according to Palestinian health authorities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

#pro palestinian protest
#university students
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