Dublin campus encampment erected in pro-Palestinian protest

Dublin campus encampment erected in pro-Palestinian protest
Dublin campus encampment erected in pro-Palestinian protest

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Demonstrators affix Palestinian flags to an overpass ahead of a rally at television station RTE’s studios calling for Ireland’s national broadcaster to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest because of the Israeli entry, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Dublin, Ireland, May 2, 2024. ― AFP pic

DUBLIN, Ireland, May 4 ― Students at Ireland’s prestigious Trinity College Dublin university manned an on-campus protest today against Israel’s actions in Gaza, blocking the entrance to a library housing a world-famous medieval manuscript.

Student activists described the protest, which began yesterday, as a “solidarity encampment with Palestine”, echoing similar protests on US campuses, as some also joined a Saturday march through the city centre.

Dozens of students pitched tents on one of the main squares at the university, a Dublin tourist attraction, and piled benches in front of a library which houses the renowned ninth century gospel manuscript the Book of Kells.

Laszlo Molnarfi, president of the institution’s student union, told Irish public broadcaster RTE that the students demand the university sever any relationships it has with Israel, and the protests would continue until the demands are met.

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“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.

The message was echoed at the protest march, with social media footage showing hundreds of attendees massed by the university chanting slogans and waving Palestinian flags.

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“Trinity students have joined the global campus uprising!” the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign organisers said on X.

Security staff had earlier closed the campus gates ― which are usually open to the public ― “to ensure safety”, the university said in a statement.

It added that there was an “unauthorised” encampment on the grounds.

“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 (RM1.1 million) by the university for loss of tourist revenue after disruptive protests this year over student fees, rent and the war in Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian protests have rocked US campuses for weeks, spreading to countries including France and Australia. The US actions appeared to ease yesterday after clashes with police, mass arrests and a stern White House directive to restore order. ― AFP

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