Sydney University students set up Gaza solidarity camp as war marks 200 days


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Asia Pacific Report

Students and activist staff at Australia’s University of Sydney (USyd) have set up a Gaza solidarity encampment in support of Palestinians and similar student-led protests in the United States.

The camp was pitched as mass graves, crippled hospitals, thousands of civilian deaths and the near-total destruction of infrastructure haunted Gaza with Israel’s war on the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave passing the 200 days milestone.

Nearly 85 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced and more than 14,500 children killed in the attack, which critics have dubbed a war of vengeance.

Al Jazeera reflects on 200 days of Israel's war on Gaza
Al Jazeera reflects on 200 days of Israel’s war on Gaza. Image: AJ screenshot APR

In Sydney, according to the university’s student newspaper, Honi Soit, the camp was established on the campus when tents were pitched “emblazoned with graffiti reading ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘from the river to the sea’”.

Students form several Australian universities were in attendance for the launch of the encampment, which was inaugurated with a student activist “speak out” on the subject of the war on Gaza and the demand for USyd management to drop any ties to the state of Israel.

According to the student newspaper: “Many chants that were used on US campuses in the past week were repeated at the encampment tonight like “disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest” followed by “Albanese/Sydney Uni you will see, Palestine will be free”.

Pro-Palestinian protests are gaining momentum at colleges and universities across the United States with street protests outside campuses as police have cracked down on the demonstrators.

Students at New York University, Columbia, Harvard and Yale are among those standing in solidarity with Palestinians and demanding an end to the war on Gaza.

Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey, reporting from New York, said student demonstrators from New York University (NYU) gathered for hours in a park just off the campus to protest against the genocide.

The protest moved to the park following the mass arrest of 133 students and academic staff who had participated in a protest on the NYU campus the night before.

“As news spread of their arrests, so have demonstrations around the country — at other colleges and universities,” Saloomey said.

Columbia announced that it was introducing online classes for the the rest of the year to cope with the protests.

Watch Saloomey’s AJ report:

Columbia protests: Chants of ‘Azaadi’.               Video: Al Jazeera

The Al Jazeera Explainers team have put together a comprehensive report detailing the numbers that highlight the unprecedented level of violence unleashed by Israel on Gaza in the 200 days of war.

The massive infrastructure damage caused by the Israeli war on Gaza
The massive infrastructure damage caused by the Israeli war on Gaza . . . . making the strip “unlivable”.
Cafe Pacific Publisher
Cafe Pacific Publisher
Café Pacific's duty editor.
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