Encampments and demonstrations can be seen being set up on University campus’ across the UK in Edinburgh, Warwick, Manchester and Sheffield, all in protest of the Israel-Gaza war.

On 1 May, students from the University of Sheffield could be seen setting up a camp outside the Students Union. The Sheffield Campus Coalition for Palestine (SCCP) have been demonstrating there for over a week now.

One student spoke to ShefNews, but asked to remain anonymous out of fears of facing disciplinary action from the University.

“We have various points of contact with all the other universities. As of now, there isn’t one big network but people are connected with activists all over the country.

“We all believe the university should not be supplying weaponry to genocidal states and we want transparency and accountability from them.”

In their mission statement, the group specifies they they want to ‘dismantle the institutional complicity of the University in Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine’.

They also say that they want to ‘provide material and political support for Palestinian students and all those who engage in political activism on campus’.

Finally, it mentions the desire to bolster ‘the campus’ awareness of and its engagement with Palestinian solidarity through historical, political and cultural education’.

On Wednesday, protestors disrupted the Universities education award ceremony by taking to the stage. Demonstrators were chanting ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘University of Sheffield, blood on your hands’.

On the same day, in an email issued to students, the University acknowledged the ‘strong views of the community’ about the situation in Gaza and are ‘supportive of the rights of our students to express views peacefully’.

Additionally, the Students Union have highlighted the availability of facilities and staff to support the wellbeing of the demonstrators while the campaign outside the Students Union.

They have also encouraged the wider student body to engage in student action, but to have ‘discussions around the issue respectfully’.

A petition has been set up by the alumni of the University encouraging support for the SCCP’s cause. It also backs the groups open letter which has been addressed to the leaders of the University.

Solidarity with Palestine – Student Encampment at Sheffield Universities – Action Network