200 Bristol students join pro-Palestine demonstration outside Bristol Uni’s Senate House

‘No cause on the planet should justify the killing of civilians’

A student-led pro-Palestinian protest broke out today in front of Senate House, with members calling for the end of the “Israeli Apartheid” and accusing the Israeli state of “ethnic cleansing and genocide”.  

Members of the Socialist Worker Student Society (SWSS), the student wing of a national Marxist organisation, led the protest with banners and speeches in solidarity with Palestinians.

Chants of “free Palestine” and “in our thousands and in our millions, we are all Palestinians” could be heard during the 45 minute protest. 

Protester Aarun Parmar-Cunio told The Tab: “We strongly condemn Hamas and attacks on innocent people. No cause on the planet should justify the killing of civilians.  

“But to assume that’s where this conflict started, and to ignore 75 years of Israeli apartheid, is irresponsible and removes all context. So, we think it’s proportionate to support Palestinian liberation whilst also condemning Hamas”. 

Speaking exclusively to The Bristol Tab, SWSS President Charlotte Goodwin said: “Israeli forces have bombed a hospital where thousands seek refuge. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and injured. And despite this, our government is complicit and even encourages Israel’s attacks.

“Our protest today brought around 200 students out to show our solidarity. It was amazing to see this support, but it needs to go further. There will be more protests on campus until Israel ends its occupation of Palestine”. 

Protesters criticised Israel’s retaliation to an attack by Hamas, an Islamic militant movement and one of the Palestinian territories’ two major political parties, on 7th October, in which at least 677 people were killed. 

Since then, Israel has declared war on Hamas, with at least 3000 people killed in retaliatory Israeli strikes on Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials. 

The protest comes amid national uproar over recent events in the region, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declaring “unequivocal” UK support for Israel whilst over 150,000 people marched in pro-Palestine demonstrations across the UK’s major cities over the weekend. 

In response to the recent events in the region, the university released a statement on 14th October which said:

“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the horrific loss of life and suffering in Israel and Gaza. The impact of these distressing and terrifying events is being felt across the world, and by our own international community.

“We are united in our support for our community. We are in contact with staff and students who we understand may be directly impacted and we continue to encourage all staff and students to reach out for support if they are struggling or have been affected in any way.”

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