The University of Lausanne in turn occupied by pro-Palestinian students

The University of Lausanne in turn occupied by pro-Palestinian students
The University of Lausanne in turn occupied by pro-Palestinian students

Published on May 2, 2024 at 7:55 p.m. / Modified on May 2, 2024 at 8:04 p.m.

Palestinian flags hang from the railings. On the walls, “Free Palestine” or “Solidarity with Gaza” signs. This Thursday evening, the central hall of the university’s Geopolis building is occupied by around a hundred pro-Palestinian students. It is 6:45 p.m. and the young people are gathered in a circle for a general assembly, to organize the coming days. They are determined to stay to assert their demands. They demand “an immediate and permanent ceasefire” in Gaza, but also that the Vaud high school ceases all academic relations with Israel. “Israeli universities play an active role in the legitimization of the apartheid regime and the perpetuation of colonization and oppression,” denounces the collective in a press release.

The surprise action is intended to be peaceful. It echoes other university occupations in the United States – the images of the Columbia clashes left their mark – in London and Paris. “Of course this resonates within us, there is the desire to be part of this great international movement,” notes a student. But not only that: it is impossible to remain indifferent to what has been happening in Gaza for several months. Schools are bombed, students like us are killed, but also doctors, members of NGOs and the entire population.” And to conclude: “Here, we are taught to be humans, not just knowledge-producing machines.”

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