Students protesting against Gaza war disrupt Cambridge University open days

Trinity College King Henry VIII statue
Activists threw red paint at Trinity College -Credit:Cambridge News

Pro-Palestine demonstrators have disrupted open days at Cambridge University. Activists have told prospective undergraduates and their families they will be "complicit in Israel's genocide" in Gaza if they apply to Trinity College, which is said to have invested in an Israeli arms company last year.

Activists threw red paint on Trinity College's chapel walls on April 25, claiming the college had divested from fossil fuels but not from arms companies linked to the war in Gaza. A Trinity College spokesperson said of the incident: "Trinity College condemns this act of vandalism and is cooperating with the police."

Students across the UK have started to gather in protest against the war in Gaza, with encampments set up in cities including Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds. It follows a series of violent clashes at campuses across the US, most prominently at Columbia University in New York.

Activist group Cambridge Stop The War shared a video on social media. It was captioned: "No Open Day As Usual for Trinity College Cambridge!"

Criticism is focused on a reported investment last year of £61,735 in the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, one of the largest defence suppliers to the Israeli military. Demonstrators have called on the college to end its "complicity in genocide" and divest from Israel in response to its military operation in the Gaza Strip.

They have not yet set up an encampment but have started to target open days for the mathematics course at Trinity. They said the highly regarded course and college will be "extremely vulnerable to bad publicity".

Calls to divest from Israeli businesses and support the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement have become common on British campuses. Several groups have said they will stay on campus sites indefinitely until university leaders discuss demands.

Trinity College has been contacted for comment.