Students from Glasgow University have demanded the institution’s leadership stop investing in arms companies as they staged a sit-in responding to the hostilities in Gaza.
A group of students from the group Glasgow Against Arms and Fossil Fuels (GAAF) could be seen in the university’s management office, chanting and holding signs as they handed in an open letter, which also called for displaced Palestinian students to be given free tuition.
The university was urged to “end its complicity in the ongoing genocide in Palestine” by divesting from all arms companies, and prohibiting recruitment on campus.
The university has investments in defence contractor BAE Systems, according to the group, and was urged to divest.
Banners were held up including one reading “scholarship for Palestinians” and another reading “end university complicity”.
The group claimed 50 students took part.
Lydia, 22, an English Literature student, said: “All we are asking is that they show the same solidarity to Palestinians that they showed to Ukrainians when they too suffered horrific war crimes by an invading imperialist state.”
Alex, 25, a politics student, said: “Enough is enough. It’s time for the university to match their rhetoric with action and divest immediately from the utterly reprehensible arms industry.”
An open letter to the university administration highlighted “the moral imperative for immediate action”.
It cited direct investments in arms companies “contributing to the violation and destruction of the Palestinian people”, and claimed the university had a direct link to drone warfare.
It said: “BAE Systems supplies the F-35 jet to the Israeli Defence Force, contributing to civilian casualties in Gaza.”
A spokesperson from the university said: “In a public statement issued to all staff and students on the unfolding events in Israel and Palestine since the horrific attacks on October 7, the University has called for the immediate release of all hostages and a humanitarian ceasefire so that aid can reach those suffering.
“Senior managers are in regular contact with representative groups most affected by the conflict and are happy to meet with others, while continuing to offer care and support to all members of our community.”