“No Classes for 2 Days”: University of Amsterdam Closes Amidst Pro-Palestinian Student Protests

Netherlands Palestine Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News May 14, 2024

University of Amsterdam building

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) announced on Monday evening that it will remain closed for two days after police intervened to end a pro-Palestinian protest at one of the school’s campuses.

The university said it will not deliver classes on Tuesday and Wednesday and that all its buildings will remain closed due to safety concerns on campus, Erudera.com reports.

Chaos erupted at the institution three times over the past week when the police clashed with protesters as the latter were calling on the school to cut all ties with Israeli companies and institutions.

This Monday, May 13, students and staff rallied near the university’s building to support Palestine, mainly at the Roeterseiland complex. University officials said the walkout was peaceful until about 30 masked people joined and occupied the building.

According to local media reports, the masked people who were dressed in black were seen damaging furniture and equipment and building barricades.

Authorities at the university said they were shocked at the escalation of a protest that started as peaceful to be “hijacked by violent elements,” misusing the right to protest and denying the basic rights of others, including the media.

“It is unacceptable that people working or studying at the UvA are harassed, threatened and forced to leave their place of work or study.

The Executive Board cannot take responsibility for the safety of all those on campus now. For this reason, there will be no teaching at the UvA on Tuesday and Wednesday. Buildings on all campuses are closed. We do not expect lecturers to be able to teach online at such short notice,” UvA’s statement reads.

Meanwhile, Sarah Bracke, professor of sociology of gender and sexuality at the University of Amsterdam, expressed being upset by UvA’s executive board actions, saying they have authorized police violence towards their own students and staff for three days in a row.

Protests also took place at other universities in the Netherlands, including Groningen, Nijmegen, Utrecht, Leiden, and Wageningen.

Student protests against Israel’s war on Gaza first started at Columbia University in mid-April, to soon spread across other major universities in the United States, Europe, and worldwide.

Last week, students protesting against the war in Gaza occupied parts of the universities of Ghent and Amsterdam, pitching tents and building barricades around campuses.

At Ghent University, several employees signed an open letter supporting student protests and criticizing the university’s decision to continue collaborating with Israel.

Read Also:

>> Ben & Jerry’s Supports Pro-Palestine Student Protests, Calls Them “Essential” to Democracy

>> Oxford Students Rally Against Israel’s War on Gaza, Demand Divestment

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