Oxford's oldest student newspaper

Independent since 1920

Oxford graduates step over protesters during pro-Palestine ‘die-in’

Around 30 protesters staged a ‘die-in’ outside the Sheldonian Theatre and Bodleian Library Saturday morning during graduations. The demonstration comes after the University released an official statement which one activist described as “long and so incredibly empty.”

The protesters lay on the ground blocking all exits from the Sheldonian, where graduation ceremonies were ongoing.

A worker who appeared to be a University library employee prodded a protester with his foot in an attempt to move him out of the way, saying they were blocking the main accessible access point. 

Protesters also told Cherwell that security personnel and what appeared to be university employees tried to close doors on the protesters and ‘kicked’ people.

They also alleged that members of the public stepped on protesters’ hands.

The protest is organised by Oxford Action for Palestine, who explained: ‘There are no more Universities in Gaza, no more graduations, no more milestones. Higher education has been systematically destroyed in a campaign that has targeted every aspect of Palestine life in Gaza.’ 

A member of the police told Cherwell that they were aware of the ‘die-in’ in advance and confirmed that the protest was entirely peaceful. 

A protester told Cherwell that the protest was a result of the University’s lack of engagement in their demands. Oxford Action for Palestine’s official statement on the protest said: ‘The University must not be allowed to forget this, and we will escalate to disrupt its functioning until they join us at the negotiating table and until our demands are met.’

A graduate told Cherwell: “This is a day I’ve worked really hard for… [but] I support [the protesters].” 
The University communications office told Cherwell that the university security team did not have any incident of security prodding protesters.

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles