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Dutch Police Smash Pro-Palestine Protest Camp

Above photo: Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel students wave Palestinian flags and placards as they occupy Amsterdam University campus on May 6, 2024. Nick Gammon / AFP.

Student protesters are demanding the University of Amsterdam end research and business ties with Israel.

In response to the genocide in Gaza.

Riot police bulldozed barricades and temporarily detained 125 people to break up a pro-Palestine student protest at the University of Amsterdam in the early hours of 7 May, Reuters reported.

Four of the protesters are still being held on charges of public violence and insulting an officer, while the remainder have been released.

Organizers said they were “taking back this campus” in solidarity with Palestine and “in the spirit” of student protests that began in the US in response to Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Along with pro-Palestine demonstrators at universities in the US and Europe, the Dutch students are demanding the university boycott academics and businesses in Israel.

Similar protests have occurred at Ghent University in Belgium and France’s prestigious Sciences Po University.

The National reported that in a social media message shortly before 3 am, organizers said they were being “violently evicted” by police arriving in riot vans.

Dutch television showed footage of police wielding batons advancing on the protesters and destroying tents.

Reuters adds that the police claimed student protesters ignored requests from university administrators and the mayor for the protesters to leave the campus and threw stones and fireworks.

“The police’s input was necessary to restore order. We see the footage on social media. We understand that those images may appear as intense,” police claimed.

Due to pressure from students, the University of Amsterdam published a list of eight research projects with ties to Israel.

It said one was about detecting explosives but “does not contribute to Israel’s military actions,” while others involved machine learning, gender issues, and safer streets.

Israel has used machine learning and artificial intelligence to generate bombing targets in Gaza.

A group of academics called Dutch Scholars for Palestine expressed support for the student protests.

“We have to resist political frames that will cast their efforts as antisemitic or a danger to the university community,” they said.

The media in the US and Europe have attempted to cast the protests as driven by antisemitism rather than by anger at Israel’s horrific bombing campaign in Gaza that has killed over 14,000 children.

Many Jewish students have participated in the university protests in opposition to Israeli policies.

“As the death toll and humanitarian crisis in Gaza increases … we should be proud of our students who are standing up to these abhorrent atrocity crimes,” the academics added.

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