Pro-Palestinian occupation grows on UNIL campus –

The occupation of the Geopolis building on the University of Lausanne campus by the pro-Palestinian student group (Unil) is escalating. Written by staff at Eleven Uni, a letter of support for the occupation was sent to management.

With 200 people gathering, speeches, conferences and music, the pro-Palestine movement gathers momentum on the University of Lausanne campus. The occupation was approved by the administration till Monday.

The involved student body is demanding a list of collaborations with Israeli institutions, as well as academic boycotts. “Unil is responsible for its cooperation with Israeli institutions,” explains a student participating in the occupation.

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Since this weekend, many teachers have supported the mobilization. “Their action is peaceful, non-violent, and their values ​​are consistent with the universal values ​​of human rights,” said political science professor Mounia Bennani-Grabi.

“This mobilization is very important for us in the face of months of violations of international law,” he added.

Confirmation letter

Apart from the support of a section of the teaching staff, a letter signed by the staff of Eleven Uni was sent to the management on Saturday. He shows his support for the pro-Palestine student movement.

“We strongly support the demand made by the students (…) to end as soon as possible any cooperation with organizations that are connected to the Israeli government or do not express their opposition to the current policy”, the letter reads.

Contacted by RTS, the University of Lausanne declined to respond.

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A tense atmosphere

Since the publication of this letter, some teachers have feared that the working environment will deteriorate due to the polarization it creates. Anne Bielman Sánchez, professor of ancient history, regrets expressing a position on the academic structure.

“Either you’re in one camp, or you’re in what I call a political stance, and for me, a university doesn’t have to do this political stance,” the professor believes.

According to him, it has become difficult to “work calmly, to do our research and teaching work in the paradoxical structure that the University of Lausanne has become today”.

TV Subject: Jacqueline Birchell

Web Adaptation: Raphael Dubois

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