Videos: Irish students at top Dublin college join encampment protests against Israel's war on Gaza

AFP , Ahram Online , Saturday 4 May 2024

Students at Ireland's prestigious Trinity College Dublin university participated in an on-campus protest on Saturday against Israel's war on Gaza and in solidarity with Palestine.

Dozens of students pitched tents on one of the main squares of Trinity College. Photo courtesy TCD Student Union President on X (@TCDSU_President)


Student activists described the protest, which began Friday, as a "solidarity encampment with Palestine", echoing similar protests on US campuses, as more global youths become enraged at the Israeli war crimes and mounting civilian toll of Israel's war on Gaza.

Laszlo Molnarfi, president of the student union, shared two posts on social media platform X showing a photo and video of dozens of students who pitched tents on one of the main squares at the university.

In the two posts on X, Molnarfi said: "Students at Trinity College Dublin have set up an encampment for Palestine, demanding that their university cut ties with Israel as per BDS principles"

He added that the demands made by the student protests are "supported by the vast majority of students and staff."




Speaking to Irish public broadcaster RTE, Molnarfi echoed his statement on social media saying that the students demand the university sever any relationships it has with Israel.

Another post on X showed dozens of students chanting "Palestine Will Be Free!" at what appears to be the main building of the university.



In a separate post on X, Molnarfi posted a photo of piled benches in front of a library which contains the famous Book of Kells medieval manuscript.

"The Book of Kells is now closed" for an indefinite period, Molnarfi posted on X, formerly Twitter.

"No business as usual during a genocide," he added, demanding Trinity "cut ties" with Israel.



In a statement on the protest, the university said there was an "unauthorised" encampment on the campus grounds and that security staff have closed the campus gates "to ensure safety."

It added: "While Trinity supports students' right to protest, protests must be conducted within the rules of the university."

Earlier in the week the union was fined 214,000 euros ($230,000) by the university for loss of tourist revenue after disruptive protests this year over student fees, rent and Israel's war on Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian protests have rocked US campuses for weeks but became more muted Friday after violent crackdowns by police, mass arrests and a stern White House directive to restore order.

In March, speaking during a St Patrick's Day reception at the White House Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar made an impassioned plea for a ceasefire in Gaza while expressing the Irish people's solidarity with Palestine.

“The Irish people are deeply troubled about the catastrophe that's unfolding before our eyes in Gaza," Varadkar said with US President Joe Biden present at the March 17 event.

"The people of Gaza desperately need food, medicine, and shelter, and most especially they need the bombs to stop," the Irish PM stressed.

In the initial days of the war, the Irish Parliament approved a motion calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of all civilians in Gaza.

The Irish Parliament also allocated an additional funding of €13 million for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

In November, Ireland was among the few EU countries that voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

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