By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Cookie Policy for more information.

Anti-Genocide Encampments Facing Police Brutality and Harassment

June 3, 2024

London - Pro-Palestine student encampments have been facing police brutality, as well as threats of forced evictions, in response to calling for an end to their universities’ complicity in aiding Israel in its genocide against Palestinians. In addition to physical harassment, students have also been arrested despite maintaining a peaceful and non-violent character.

Students at Newcastle University were filmed being assaulted and dragged by Northumbria police officers. Others have given first hand accounts of being kettled by police as well as being beaten and strangled by batons. A female student was seen being dragged by her hair across campus grounds by an officer while another had her trousers ripped off. Students taking part in the encampments have described the atmosphere as being under siege with those injured prevented from seeking medical assistance. 

The Newcastle University student encampment have also received eviction notices by the university’s administration, who have also cut off water and electricity services to the students, as well as closing down toilet facilities. Despite the clear evidence of the encampments being peaceful and non-violent, the administration has falsely accused the latter to be violent and thus legitimising the abhorrent force used against the students by police forces. 

At SOAS and UCL, pro-Israeli protestors harassed students with loud music and provocatively celebrated the murder of Palestinians. At Queen Mary university, individuals attacked encampments and threw bottles of urine at the students. At Oxford university, a number of students were arrested and received notices of investigations. Despite the ratcheting up of violence against student encampments, mainstream media organisations have either remained silent or have smeared the student campaigns and attempted to delegitimise their legitimate cries for an end to their institutions' complicity in the genocide. 

Anas Mustapha, head of Public Advocacy at CAGE International, said:

“Police forces across the UK are starting to follow the guidebook of their American counterparts, where authorities have brutally clamped down on student encampments, assaulted students and carried out a large number of arrests in an effort to silence a growing movement of resistance against the genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza. Despite the campaign of violence and harassment against the encampments, students have maintained their stand and continue to voice their key demands which is a united call for an end to their institutions’ complicity in the genocide and for the end of the genocide itself. 

A medical student who took part in the Newcastle University encampment said:

“On Wednesday May 29th students and staff, of all faiths and backgrounds, assembled to peacefully protest the complicit links between Newcastle University and arms companies that build the arsenal of the Zionist entity’s genocide in Palestine, which has to date murdered over 45,000 people, nearly 6000 of which are fellow students. Students, who had been encamping on their campus for nearly 30 days peacefully, whose demands were communicated to the university for months via student and staff petitions, protests, walk outs, via union and student representatives, were ignored and instead were met with a brutal police response. Police, alongside masked campus security guards, brutalised students as they staged a sit in at Al Shifa Hall, which the university locked students in. 

As a medical student charged with providing first aid care to students, I dealt with students suffering baton blows to the head, neck and torso. Police tore the ligaments in the knees of one of my medic colleagues, and dragged her across the floor, before attempting to baton me as I rendered aid to an unconscious female suffering chest trauma, who was just crushed by police. By my count, I treated 9 casualties, and my colleagues each dealt with dozens more. I witnessed students choked by officers, punched in the face repeatedly and female students having their clothes shredded and bodies groped by officers. Police further threw students to the ground and brutalised them with batons.”

Photo by Yousef Salhamoud on Unsplash

Download Files

No items found.


Anti-Genocide Encampments Facing Police Brutality and Harassment
Statements & Press Releases
Anti-Genocide Encampments Facing Police Brutality and Harassment
Statements & Press Releases