UCD Palestinian Solidarity Encampment Continues

Image Credit: Tessa Ndjonkou

The second day of the UCD encampment in the name of Palestinian solidarity has begun.

The second day of the UCD encampment in the name of Palestinian solidarity has begun. Students and staff set up the camp on Saturday, May 11th at 6.30 pm. Currently, the encampment houses approximately 60 people. The demands, outlined by UCD's Boycott Divestment and Sanction group and the UCD Student's Union, need to be adequately satisfied for the encampment to be dissolved. 

Speaking to The University Observer, UCDSU President Martha Ní Riada said, “A lot of what we push for are things we think the University should be doing. [...] [our demands] are quite far from where the university currently is and we do recognise that, but I think the university is aspiring to be a university of influence and impact, and if it wants to be influential and impactful, it should really be leading the way and able to meet these demands.”

Ní Riada also emphasised that UCDSU and UCD BDS’ demands “are not radical; it’s the necessary things, and a lot of them are things the university has already done when Russia invaded Ukraine.

“I think it will be an uphill battle trying to get UCD to concede because they haven’t released a statement or done anything about Palestine. It will be difficult for us to meet a lot of these demands, but it is something that our university should be doing. We want to be part of a university that we’re proud of and a university that stands against genocide.”

At the encampment, a spokesperson for UCD BDS told The University Observer, “We want to work with the university and not against them. [The encampment] is about solidarity with the Palestinian people, it’s completely peaceful. [UCD] hasn’t responded to our demands before and hasn’t done the bare minimum and called for a ceasefire, so we had to take it to this level. I think it’s really important [for the university] to know that we are open to conversation.”

Shortly after 1.30 pm, members of UCD security staff removed Palestinian flags that had been raised on the UCD sign near the Main Lake. A source present at the encampment informed The University Observer that they received orders to remove any Palestinian symbol near the UCD sign.  The flags have since been reinstated. 

During the day, various events and workshops have been proposed. Students and staff joining the encampment will have the opportunity to leaflet in the library, to be a part of a resistance choir, a crash course on what BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) means, a discussion on the conflation of antizionism with antisemitism and finally, a music and poetry night. The music night will feature special guests, James Shannon, and Sarah Crean, and the band, Sell Everything. The encampment has publicly shared a donations request list to help sustain it. 

This story is being updated.