Protesters hold sit-in at the Maria Montessori building; police visit encampment

22 May 2024 ,

Less than an hour after Radboud University released a list of partnerships, the pro-Palestine protesters held a sit-in in the Maria Montessori building.

On Wednesday, about fifty protesters gathered during the lunch break at the encampment next to Maria Montessori. As opposed to previous days, they didn’t announce in advance what their protest action would entail. ‘We are going to have a sit-in,’ one of the protesters shouted through the megaphone. ‘At a cool place.’

Soon after, the group walked through the bicycle shed into the Maria Montessori building. A doorman tried to stop the activist on the ground floor but to no avail. After which, they walked up the stairs to Grand Café de Iris. They held their sit-in on the floor in between lunching students and staff. They shouted slogans and played music from a big speaker. Two security guards looked on from a distance. After a short half an hour, the protest was over.


In a message on the website, the Radboud University has published a listing of international ties with the names of Israel’s Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University among them. However, it was already known that cooperation with those institutions was taking place. More details are not presented.

Een portier probeert de demonstranten tegen te houden. Foto: Johannes Fiebig

‘Protesting staff and students call for transparency, that’s a value we stand for,’ explained a University spokesperson when asked. But, he says, he can’t share more information about collaborations, because this could threaten the safety and privacy of individual scientists.

Cutting ties with Israeli institutions, as the protesters demand, does not need to be addressed at this point, according to the spokesperson. However, the intention is to start an advice committee before the start of the new academic year. This committee would review collaborations with other institutions on ethical aspects. This could, for example, concern human rights- or environmental concerns.


After the protest in Maria Montessori, one of the activists called through a megaphone that the students ‘would keep escalating’. ‘This is just the beginning’, they said.

De politie komt een praatje maken in het kamp. Foto: Johannes Fiebig

A little later, two police officers came to check in on the camp. Among other things, they pointed out to the protesters that there are limits to blocking public roads. In the protest march on Tuesday and Friday, the procession walked on the Heyendaalseweg, which meant buses and cars were stuck for a short time.

Translated by Stella Kuipers

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