Camps for Palestine and the victory at the University of Barcelona

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  • Assembly of the Camp at the University of Barcelona
    Assembly of the Camp at the University of Barcelona. Source: Assembly of the Camp at the University of Barcelona.

The international struggle of students and activists denounces the complicity of universities with the Palestinian genocide at the hands of the State of Israel.

Assembly of the Camp at the University of Barcelona


Assembly of the Camp at the University of Barcelona

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Assembly of the Camp at the University of Barcelona
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Assembly of the Camp at the University of Barcelona
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Assembly of the Camp at the University of Barcelona

On April 17, the first university camp in solidarity with Palestine and for the divestment of the University from Israeli institutions began at Columbia University. The protest, which gathered 50 tents on the first day, was dismantled the same day when the University president authorized the entry of the New York Police Department onto the campus. The police had not entered the campus since the protests against the Vietnam War in 1968, and, as in that case, the police repression only amplified a struggle that shows no signs of stopping. The day after the first dismantling, a new pro-Palestinian camp appeared, which lasted until April 29. The brutal images of the second dismantling will go down in history. The spark of the student struggle against the complicity of institutions and governments with the genocidal State of Israel had been lit, and it was only a matter of hours and days before it spread worldwide.

The first images at Columbia University fueled the birth of hundreds of camps in solidarity with Palestine around the world in places like France, the Netherlands, Australia, the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Lebanon, and Portugal, among many other countries. The protests on more than 100 campuses led by American students stem from the understanding that they are at the center of the imperialist power complicit in the genocide, at the nerve center and economic engine of Zionism. This explains the brutal scenes of repression by the police and Zionist groups, especially in the United States (with more than 2,900 people detained) and Germany (where there have been flagrant violations of the rights of expression, assembly, and demonstration).

In Spain, the first camp to rise was at the University of Valencia, which began its struggle on April 29. That same week, the second assembly was held to set the machinery in motion for the camp for Palestine at the University of Barcelona (UB), which began on May 6 with a large student and popular mobilization that gathered more than 300 people at the first assembly. The struggle at the camp in the Historic Building of the UB lasted 19 days. Students and fighters in defense of the Palestinian people won a commitment from the University’s Governing Council to break academic, institutional, and economic relations with the State of Israel and with companies that sponsor the genocide, as well as to establish a monitoring commission to ensure compliance with the commitments. Undoubtedly, this is a historic triumph that shakes the mechanisms of political, ideological, and economic legitimization of Zionism.

An exemplary victory that we want to replicate at other universities in the country where it has not yet occurred. Unfortunately, in some of them, scenes of repression have been experienced, and universities are ignoring the will of their students, as in the cases of Valencia and Seville. Despite this, the struggle continues inside and outside the camps, and students support and help each other to move forward together with the prospect of a general strike for Palestine. The international struggle of youth alongside the Palestinian people and their resistance to the genocide perpetrated by the State of Israel and its imperialist accomplices continues stronger than ever. Today more than ever, we say: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

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