Second week of protests opens with march through Huygens Building and Library; flares on Refter roof

21 May 2024 ,

Pro-Palestine protesters entered the University Library this afternoon during a protest march on campus. They also stopped at the Berchmanianum building in an attempt to meet the Executive Board.

‘Daniël! Daniël!’ The protesters shouted the Board Chair’s first name, underscoring it by drumming on the large metal letters that make up the “Radboud Universiteit” sign. When everything remains quiet behind the Berchmanianum’s windows, they include the rector’s first name: ‘José!’

The only person to come out is Pim van Zanen, the director of Marketing and Communications. He listens to the demands of spokesperson Ties, who wants to enter the building with thirty other students for talks. Van Zanen returns a few moments later with the news that ten delegates are welcome inside. However, this was not to the protesters’ satisfaction.

Phase Two

‘They won’t let us in; they want us to leave’, Ties shouts through his megaphone. This is followed by the message that the Executive Board will regret every day they don’t cut ties with Israel, ‘because we will remain; this week marks phase two of our protest.’

The protesters were momentarily stuck in the University Library. Photo: Johannes Fiebig

According to Ties, the protesters will ramp up their efforts. However, he did not wish to tell Vox what’s in store for the campus this week. Like last week, the protesters demand not only that the University cease all cooperation with Israel, but also that Radboud University denounce the genocide in Gaza, as well as provide support for Palestinian students and universities. Meanwhile, a second area has been claimed as a campsite, right in front of the administration building.

Huygens Building

After a quiet weekend, the protesters started the week this afternoon with their daily march across campus. They crossed the Heyendaalseweg to the Huygens building, where they waved their flags and raised their shouts. Next, they walked back and entered the University Library, as a security guard tried to bar their way. The doors were locked after a hundred protesters went in, leaving a hundred more waiting outside. As the backdoor was also locked, the protesters decided to exit the premises.

The crowd paused in the Erasmus square, where they cheered on five protesters, who had climbed up to the roof of the Refter with flares and Palestinian flags. The endpoint of the march was the field north of the Berchmanianum building, which now also houses ten tents.

Peter Koelewijn

‘We are satisfied with the turnout’, spokesperson Ties told Vox after the 1.5-hour march. He thinks it’s ‘a shame’ that the Executive Board did not want to let in thirty protesters. ‘We are here to show that we take this seriously. I think it’s ridiculous that they won’t take us seriously in turn.’

Most protesters returned to the ‘main camp’ next to the Maria Montessori building around 15:15. Moments later, Peter Koelewijn’s song Kom van dat dak af (Get off that roof, eds.) could be heard over the speakers.

Translated by Jasper Pesch

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