Cambridge students warned university graduations may be disrupted by pro-Palestine protestors

This comes after ‘blood red’ paint was thrown on Senate House earlier this week

Pro-Palestine protestors are suspected of planning to disrupt graduation in Cambridge.

The group Palestine Action has told The Telegraph that it would “continue to apply necessary pressure to end complicity in the Gaza genocide”.

The statement to The Telegraph came days after the police were called to investigate red paint thrown by protestors over the university’s Senate House.

Senate House is where graduation ceremonies are traditionally held for Cambridge. It was set to be used for this year’s graduations, scheduled for a week after the paint was splattered.

The police were called at 3am on Saturday 22nd June when they were alerted of the paint by university security.

This follows weeks of protesting from pre-Palestine protestors, including the encampment outside Kings’ College in central Cambridge, which has been there since May.

Palestine Action claimed responsibility for the red paint, which covered the stairs, windows and front doors and was described in a statement by the university as an “act of vandalism”.

Palestine Action claims responsibility for the paint, however the group also admits other Cambridge students had a part in the process.

Students set to graduate have been sent emails warning them that graduation ceremonies next week may also be disrupted as part of the continued action.

This also occurred in May when graduation ceremonies were held in Downing College rather than the traditional Senate House due to the pro-Palestine encampment expanding to the lawn outside Senate House. This encampment was later withdrawn, however the university still stated that graduation was moved to an “undisclosed location” (Downing).

The emails sent by university officials to graduating students reveal the university’s concerns about continued action. It suggests that the ceremony for absent students will be adapted for the current cohort, editing the “in absentia” Latin grace.

Palestine Action shares that it “can neither confirm nor deny if we will disrupt the graduation ceremonies” adding that “all universities in Gaza have been damaged” as context for their protest action.

It also shared that the red paint on Senate House is “blood-red” to reflect the “Palestinian bloodshed, which soaks the university’s financial records, research output, and historical legacy”.

The paint was washed away on Tuesday 25th June, and a spokesperson for the university has said that they look forward to graduation “in the Senate House this week”.

However, they also added that there are “always contingency plans in place to manage any form of disruption in ways that will ensure students graduate in a manner that is fitting of the occasion”.

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