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STUDENTS mobilised at universities throughout Britain today in solidarity with Palestine as part of an international day of action.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) youth and students’ committee called for nationwide support, with demonstrations taking place from Cambridge to Manchester and Exeter to Birmingham.
In London, students demonstrated outside the headquarters of Universities UK, the body that represents 148 universities.
A PSC youth and students’ committee statement said: “In recent weeks, the Israeli government has stepped up its systematic attacks on Palestinians advocating for their rights.
“Late last month, Israel moved to criminalise six Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations in an attempt to evade accountability for its violations of Palestinian rights.
“This draconian crackdown comes in the context of continued attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders, including students.
“Israel’s violence didn’t end in May when it intensified its ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and bombarded already besieged Gaza.
“Since then, Israel has conducted mass arrest raids across historic Palestine, including on university campuses.
“At Birzeit University, hundreds of student activists have been arrested by Israeli forces.
“Palestinians have always pushed back against this repression, and university students have always been at the heart of the Palestinian anti-apartheid struggle. But they need our solidarity now.”
PSC student groups are calling on university authorities to withdraw investments in businesses complicit in Israeli repression in Palestine.
They said: “Our research has found that UK universities invest over £400 million in companies complicit in Israel’s grave breaches of human rights.”
The group is also stepping up activities against local authorities, as its research revealed that local government pension scheme funds hold £4.4 billion in complicit companies.
“This includes companies active in, or with, Israel’s illegal settlement enterprises on stolen Palestinian land as well as companies supplying weapons, components, and military technology used in unlawful violence against Palestinians,” the group said.
“This is unacceptable, and we’re stepping up our campaign against it.”
In 1977, the United Nations general assembly called for the annual observance of November 29 as an international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people. On that day in 1947, the assembly had adopted its resolution on the partition of Palestine.
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