Pro-Palestinian Protests Spark on College Campuses Across the Globe

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Chants of “disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest” are reverberating across the globe as student-led protests in support of Palestine have popped up outside the U.S. and in countries like Australia, Mexico, and the U.K. as the Israel-Hamas war enters into its seventh month.

More than 2,000 people taking part in more than 100 demonstrations have been arrested over the course of the past few weeks. Videos and images of police clearing encampments at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Columbia University have undoubtedly emboldened youth in other nations, sparking global unrest in college campuses worldwide. “Columbia first, USYD [University of Sydney] next, all universities must divest,” reads a post from a Students for Palestine’s - Sydney Uni Facebook page. 

Demands from students vary, but many are making similar calls for their institutions to disclose their investment portfolio and divest funds from companies that have business ties with Israel. Some organizers are even calling for their colleges to cut off any relationships with Israeli academic institutions. 

These are some of the countries where students have also set up their own protests: 


Hundreds have gathered across at least six Australian universities, including the University of Melbourne and Curtin University. At the University of Sydney, police watched the protestors from the entrance of the school as pro-Palestinian demonstrators were met by counter protestors in support of Israel. Some academics have voiced their discomfort with chants of “Intifada” and “from the river to the sea,” according to Reuters.

University of Sydney Vice Chancellor Mark Scott has permitted the protests to continue because there has not been violence like what was seen in the U.S., he told local media on Thursday. 

Other demonstrators, such as those at the University of Queensland, have been camping since April 29. Students want the school to close the Boeing Research and Technology Australia Centre, and stop working with American aerospace company Northrop Grumman—which designs and develops some military aircrafts—among other companies.   


At McGill University in Quebec, pro-Palestinian demonstrators were gifted a temporary win after a judge ruled against a request for an injunction that would have forced protestors to leave the premises on Wednesday. The following day, pro-Palestinian protestors were met with pro-Israeli demonstrators, though police have called the protests peaceful. Having first set up their encampment on April 27, the pro-Palestinian supporters have taken over an area about 4,000 sq. meters large thus far, according to the CBC.  

Reports indicate that the protests are not limited to McGill students, with alums and students from Concordia University and the Université de Montréal having also come to participate. 

Pro-Palestinian protestors have also set up encampments at the University of Toronto, renaming King’s College Circle as the People’s Circle for Palestine. In addition to divestment, students are asking their school to cut ties with any Israeli academic institutions that “operate in occupied Palestinian territories, or sustain the apartheid policies, occupation and illegal settlement of these territories.”

Read More: ‘Why Are Police in Riot Gear?’: Inside Columbia and City College’s Darkest Night

School officials warned protestors to leave campus by 10 p.m. Thursday, but later announced that they would not remove anyone from campus so long as the protest remained peaceful, per the CBC. Still, administrators warned that there would be a greater police presence in the area.

"We are aware that the Toronto Police Service is monitoring the protest. Please encourage others to remain peaceful ... Hate speech, threats, and other discriminatory language or behavior do not constitute peaceful protest,” said University of Toronto Vice-Provost Sandy Welsh in a university statement. Students remain adamant they will not leave until their demands are met. University of Toronto President Meric S. Gertler told members of the school’s Occupy for Palestine group that the university would not adhere to their requests.  


An ongoing stand-off between students, police and university administrators has sparked tension in Paris at the well-renowned Sciences Po. On April 24, the provisional administrator of the university called on the police to remove some 60 students that were participating in a sit-in, according to Le Monde. It was the first time the university sent in police to break up a protest, per The Nation

Student organizers for Palestine have remained persistent—asking their school to look into its ties with Israeli universities, better protest Palestinian students, and send a statement to condemn the Israeli military’s actions. Dozens of students opted to reoccupy school buildings on Thursday, which prompted Sciences Po to close on Friday. At least six students were also participating in a hunger strike. (Sciences Po offers a dual degree program with Columbia University, which recently called on police to remove student occupiers and limited press access to the protest.)

Syndicat Alternative Paris 1, the student union at Sorbonne University, is making similar requests. Protestors were similarly cleared by police on April 29, Reuters reports


Some 200 people gathered at the American University of Beirut to protest in support of Palestine. Protestors had been given permission to do so for two hours on campus grounds. 

“Looking at the Palestinians in Gaza and students in Gaza that lost their universities, their lives and their families, a degree would not matter to us as much as a liberated Palestine from the river to the sea,” Rayyan Kilani told Reuters. "Of course we were inspired by the protests in the U.S. and Columbia University.”

Other demonstrations at Lebanese American University, which operates in Beirut and Byblos, also took place. At least one student there said that they were not inspired by students in the U.S., and that it was the other way around. “American students were inspired by us,” Batoul told the Washington Post. Chants of “death to America” were also briefly heard at the rally. 


At the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico’s largest university, organizers have set up encampments to call for “[un] alto al genocidio imperialista en Gaza,” or an end to the “imperialist genocide in Gaza,” El País reports

Students are asking both their university and the country of Mexico to end all diplomatic relations with Israel. Other Latin-American countries, including, most recently Colombia, have already ended their relations with the Middle Eastern country.  

At least 40 tents have been set up since Thursday, according to El País, where Jewish and Arabic students are taking part in the encampment. 


Student-led demonstrations have also taken place in Manchester, Newcastle, and across the U.K. The BBC reports that although the number of protestors is smaller than what has been seen in the U.S., student activism is growing. A spokesperson for U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC that police would have Sunak’s “full support” to take down encampments if the protests become similar to what happened in the U.S.
Goldsmiths, University of London reached a deal with organizers after students occupied the school’s library on Wednesday. University officials agreed to allow students to “present evidence of Goldsmiths' complicity with Israel to the university’s finance committee,” create undergraduate scholarships for Palestinians, write a statement to the UK government calling for a ceasefire, and more. The student group organizing for Palestine announced their victory on Friday via X. 

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