Activists hold daily march until university officials meet their demands

15 May 2024 ,

The Pro-Palestine protesters will hold a march to the Berchmanianum every afternoon until their demands are met. This was announced by a spokesperson for the protesters after the initial march with some 200 people present.

For a brief moment, this afternoon, it seemed like the protesters would walk into the Berchmanianum. After marching across campus, the crowd arrived at the entrance to the Radboud University administration building, where a university spokesperson was waiting for them on behalf of the Executive Board.

The protestors stated that they wanted to talk to the Executive Board to ask if all their demands had been met yet. After discussion, the university spokesperson indicated that a small delegation was welcome. A group of about twenty protesters tried to enter the building. A security guard who saw this happening blocked the entrance.

Eventually, thirteen activists were allowed into the building. Everyone else, including the press, had to wait outside. ‘Our negotiators are inside now,’ one protester shouted through the megaphone. ‘Thank you for coming and for being on the right side of history.’

Red Palms

A group of an estimated two hundred people left the camp around 12:30. They then walked around the University Library, through the Erasmus Square, and past the terrace of the Culture Café on their way towards the Berchmanianum. The group chanted slogans such as “Free, free Palestine”, and “Radboud, Radboud, you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide.” Many activists had painted their palms red to support the slogan “Radboud, shame on you, blood on your hands.”

When the negotiators came out of the building, a spokesperson took the floor. In a megaphone, he shouted that the protestors will return every day at 12:15 until the university is transparent about and has severed ties with the Israeli institutions. Other demands must also be met, such as cancelling the contract with HP computers, because they supply hardware to Israel.

In a brief conversation with the Executive Board, Ties – the spokesperson of the protestors – recounted afterward that he mostly heard ‘a lot of administrative waffling.’ According to him, the Executive Board let it be known that they wanted to talk to the participational bodies about the protest. The activists were approached kindly, he says, but it bothered him that the board kept emphasizing that it hopes the protest will remain peaceful. ‘We hope people in Gaza can say the same.’

Actievoerder Ties in gesprek met universiteitswoordvoerder Martijn Gerritsen. Foto: Johannes Fiebig

The protester also stressed that they intended to stay peaceful. ‘They advised us not to camp, but we will.’ Ties believes it is justified that the university is not taking any action to remove the campers from the terrain. According to him, there are strict rules on the camping grounds. ‘We don’t treat it like a festival.’

A spokesperson for the university has confirmed that thirteen people had entered into discussions with the Executive Board and that the board had listened to them.

As the procession walks back to the tents near the Maria Montessori building, three moving boxes are placed in front of the entrance to the Berchmanianum. The names José, Daniël, and Agnes (which are the first names of the three members of the Executive Board, José Sanders, Daniël Wigboldus, and Agnes Muskens, ed.) are written on the boxes.

Translated by Lieke Stevens

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