Bristol Friends of Palestine set to protest outside Israeli diplomat talk
It’ll be a ‘Rally Against Apartheid’
Following the news that the University of Bristol Politics Society is set to host an Israeli diplomat this week, the local Friends of Palestine branch has announced it will host a demonstration in protest at the invitation.
Pol Soc announced last Friday that a 'prominent Middle Eastern speaker' would be set to speak to students at 5pm on Thursday, with the guest and location yet to be announced.
Details are scarce but the event has already sold out, with a capacity of 120. A short talk from the speaker will be followed by a brief Q&A from the audience. For security reasons, no ‘big bags’ or water will be allowed inside the event and the location will be withheld until as late as possible.
Friends of Palestine have declared on their Facebook page that their protest will feature ‘loud music, chanting, drumming and traditional Dabke dancing – a real celebration of Palestinian culture’.
According to the society, the speaker has ‘directly endorsed the breaking of international law and human rights law’.
They urge the university and the Politics Society ‘to be mindful when inviting speakers that are involved in systematically racist and colonial activities’ and have requested a ‘Pro-Palestinian diplomat’ be invited to Bristol to deliver a follow up talk.
Speaking to The Tab Bristol, Steph Pollard, Media and Marketing Representative for UoB Politics Society, said: "Our event on Thursday will be going ahead as usual. We understand the controversy around the event, and we highlight that our society is apolitical."
"Not to mention, this event is one of many to come, with a Palestinian spokesperson set to be organised in the future. Finally, we welcome engagement from all students and will not prevent freedom of speech."