UCD students end encampment in support of Palestine after 'historic' deal with university

UCD students end encampment in support of Palestine after 'historic' deal with university

STUDENTS at University College Dublin (UCD) have ended an encampment in support of Palestine after reaching what it described as a 'historic' deal with the university.

UCD Students' Union, UCD BDS and UCD Academics for Palestine set up the encampment at the university's Belfield campus on May 11.

In a statement on Saturday detailing the agreement reached with the protesters, UCD said it was 'appalled by the destruction of all universities in Gaza and attacks on their students, faculty and staff'.


When the encampment was established, protesters issued a list of demands focused on severing links with Israel and supporting Palestinian students, academics and institutions.

In a statement on Saturday, the UCD Palestine Liberation Encampment said it had reached a 'historic agreement with the university making significant progress on 10 of our 11 demands'.

"We have achieved an unprecedented level of transparency and student power in university decision-making and new material commitments to no new bilateral ties with Israeli institutions and no new investments complicit in Israeli institutions and the wider war machine," added the statement.

"This is a victory for student movements everywhere, showing our university that they are nothing without the students and that direct action works in making material change."


In its statement, UCD outlined some of the changes it would implement as part of its agreement with the protesters.

These include up to eight sanctuary scholarships for displaced Palestinian applicants, support for up to four scholars from Palestinian universities and doing more to represent the multicultural make-up of the campus.

It also pledged to enhanced oversight of its governance structures by providing the location of university investments and listing the international partners of research grants.

"UCD is a university with a strong commitment to human rights and the rule of law," read the statement.

"Accordingly, we are outraged by the ongoing mass killing of civilians, the withholding of humanitarian aid, and the destruction in Palestine by Israel.

"As a member of the global university community with an enduring commitment to academic freedom, expression and safety, UCD is particularly appalled by the destruction of all universities in Gaza and attacks on their students, faculty and staff.

The encampment was set up at UCD's Belfield campus (Image: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie)

"Our statement follows the Irish government's recognition of the state of Palestine and their intervention in South Africa's case against Israel under the Genocide Convention at the International Court of Justice.

"The university recognises the International Court of Justice rulings to prevent the violation of international laws in Palestine.

"UCD supports freedom of speech and the right of students and staff to protest on campus.

"We recognise the powerful tradition of student and staff activism in our university, as in others, in bringing about positive change."

A similar encampment at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) came to an end on May 8 after the university reached an agreement with protesters.

It included a commit to divest from investments in Israeli companies active in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to facilitate access to Trinity for students from Gaza seeking to continue their education.