Pro-Palestine students barricade themselves inside Bristol Uni’s Wills Memorial Building

They are protesting the ‘university’s complicity in the genocide in Gaza’

A group of Bristol University students barricaded themselves inside the Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building yesterday (19th March) due to the “university’s complicity in the genocide in Gaza”.

At approximately 12:30pm students walked into the Great Hall before locking the doors and barricading themselves inside.

The protestors stayed overnight and intend to stay indefinitely until their demands have been met.

Their demands are as follows:

1. We demand no repercussions for anyone involved in the occupation and that anyone can leave at any time.

2. Basic necessities need to be met for the occupiers. This includes access to toilet facilities, privacy from being watched, as well as food and medicine supplies being allowed into the hall.

3. Cut all ties with Arms companies. This includes stopping any arms companies from being featured on the Careers Service website/portal and ending all research contracts with arms companies.

4. Cut all ties with Israel to comply with BDS – undergo a financial and academic boycott of Israel.

5. Actions to support Palestine and Palestinians. This includes granting any students affected by the crisis ‘exceptional circumstances’ for assessments, confirming that staff and students will not be punished for ‘holding anti-Zionist beliefs’, and offering scholarships to displaced Palestinians.

6. We demand the university expand protest rights at the university so that students can attach banners and disrupt commercial and educational activities

The occupation of the executive management building (before that, the Victoria Rooms) is still ongoing.

Bristol University is, therefore, faced with two active occupations aimed at cutting all financial and academic ties with Israel.

Sam, who participated in the first protest, told The Bristol Tab: “We stand in solidarity with the second occupation group. Given the lack of an adequate response from the university, we are glad to see peaceful escalation of this kind occur.”

Student Action Bristol has announced its support for the participants and is currently the main point of information.

At 7pm yesterday, an emergency support rally was called in solidarity with the occupiers. The protestors chanted “arms off campus!” outside the Wills Memorial Building.

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “We are aware of this protest. We would always respect the right of our students to peacefully protest within the law.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Exclusive: Bristol students camp overnight in Victoria Rooms in pro-Palestine protest

Students occupy Victoria Rooms protesting Bristol University’s ‘complicity in genocide’

• Bristol Uni Hockey Club write open letter demanding SU review their Code of Conduct