Palestine camp at University of Nottingham says talks agreed as fundraiser starts for legal costs

Different coloured tents on grass amid small pine trees and one person sitting down and one walking towards camera on right of shot
-Credit: (Image: Nottingham Post)

The organisers of the camp for Palestine at the University of Nottingham say that the university has agreed to a meeting with them to discuss their demands. It comes days after a fundraiser was started to raise money for the cost of fighting the university's case against them in the High Court in Birmingham.

The university's student union communicated the news on Tuesday, June 4 that members of the University's Executive Board will engage in an SU-facilitated meeting. Registar Paul Greatrix and Pro-Vice chancellor of People & Culture, Katherine Linehan are the university's representatives, the camp says.

A statement on the nottspalestinecamp Instagram page says: "We are disappointed with how long it has taken management to offer this meeting and their general lack of support for Palestinian students. We hope that the Unviersity will engage constructively regarding how they can meet our demands."

The encampment, made up of dozens of tents on grassed land just inside the entrance to the University's Jubilee Campus on Derby Road, was set up on May 10. On May 15, the camp says it was served a 300-page injunction calling those involved to court with a view to evicting them.

On May 17, the hearing, at the High Court in Birmingham, was adjourned, which the camp says was due to a challenge from themselves in which they argued to the court that they had only had two days notice and had not had enough time to seek legal representation. The new date for the hearing is Wednesday, June 19.

In the meantime, the encampment has set up a fundraiser in an attempt to cover their legal costs. They say they have enlisted lawyers who are "prepared to fight" the case, but that it will cost between £15,000 and £17,000 to cover. At the time of writing, £4,226 had been donated by 166 supporters of the cause.

The Advanced Manufacturing building opposite the Encampment has been closed since the tents were pitched nearly a month ago. It means the campsite does not have access to showers and the nearest toilets are a distance away. The camp says online that the university has argued that their presence is a "health and safety risk".

But those on the land maintain they will not move until the university agrees to divests from its contracts with companies like Rolls Royce and arms manufacturer BAE systems. They also want the university to agree to disclose all their finanical relations, partnerships and divestments, provide scholarships, funds and bursaries for Palestinian students at the UON, protect their right to protest and commit to sending funds to rebuild Gaza's infrastructure.