Police move in after pro-Palestinian protesters occupy university buildings in Amsterdam

World

Police in Amsterdam have moved in to end a pro-Palestinian protest after demonstrators occupied university buildings.

Footage from the Dutch capital showed a line of officers in riot gear holding back demonstrators, some of whom could be seen making peace signs with their hands while others held signs.

Students could be heard chanting “we are peaceful, what are you?” and “shame on you” in local media footage.

Earlier, a protest group said it had occupied university buildings in Amsterdam as well as in the cities of Groningen and Eindhoven.

In a post on social media site X, Amsterdam police said the university had filed a report against the protesters for acts of vandalism.

Image:
Police officers and pro-Palestinian protesters in Amsterdam

The force said just after 3pm UK time that a large group remained present on the Roeterseiland campus “despite many warnings”.

“Go home and stay away from Roeterseiland,” it said.

A spokesperson for the University of Amsterdam said protesters had occupied what is known as the ABC building, causing some “destruction”.

It estimated 1,000 students and employees had taken part in a “national walkout” during which they walked out of a lecture hall at 11am and gathered on the campus.

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The university said it had advised people not affiliated with the protest to leave the building.

The Eindhoven University of Technology also confirmed there were students protesting, but said they were largely peaceful in tents outside university property.

Image:
An estimated thousand staff and students took part in a walkout. Pic: Ramon van Flymen/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock


Students in the US and Europe have been holding mostly peaceful demonstrations calling for an immediate permanent ceasefire in Gaza and for schools to cut financial ties with companies they say are profiting from the oppression of Palestinians.

Dutch students have been demonstrating since last Monday and had previously clashed with police as they used railings and furniture to build barricades in the city.

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Protesters interrupt university ceremony

While in the UK, students have set up encampments outside King’s College at Cambridge University and the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

Kendall Gardner, a Jewish student at Oxford University, told Sky News last week that she was “really inspired by the events that have been happening across the world”.

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“The US started a global chain of student activism for Palestine,” she said.

“We have six demands for this protest – the top line is to demand closure of all university-wide financial assets that benefit Israel.”

Students at both top-ranked universities in the UK have said they will not leave until their demands are met.

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