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by Stevie Kearney, Head of News
A group of students from Edinburgh University are staging a sit-in protest in the George Square Lecture Theatre in opposition to what they are describing as the University’s “financial and commercial links to the apartheid state of Israel”.
The protest began this morning and despite initial concerns, students are now free to come and go as they please.Â A press release was issued stating that the broad aim of the action was for the university to “demonstrate what should be its inherent opposition, as an educational institution, to Israel’s illegal and shameful behaviours”.
Today’s protest comes only a day after students at Glasgow University occupied the top floor of the Computer Science building, demanding that the university back the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Gaza appeal and cut alleged links to weapons manufacturers supplying arms to Israel.
A spokesperson for the Edinburgh University protest group said, “We have to stress that we are not against the University or any students and we are not preventing any lectures from taking place.Â What we want is a dialogue with the University on this vital issue”.
The protest in the lecture hall has taken the form of an open space media centre, where students are invited to come in and create art and listen to speakers.
Amongst the demands of the protesters are that Edinburgh University send non-monetary aid to Gaza, stop on-campus recruitment by companies manufacturing arms, set up a series of debates on the issue and offer 5 scholarship places to students from Gaza.Â They also wish that none of the protesters be penalised in any way for their actions.
Edinburgh University have issued a statement saying they will have a full response by the end of the day.
The students have said they expect to stay in the lecture theatre overnight.Â A protest rally has been organised for 5:30pm this evening.
We will update this article as news breaks.Â Please feel free to add your comments below.