Around 1,000 students in Glasgow marched and blocked roads on Tuesday to show their solidarity with the Palestinian resistance.
It was organised by the Socialist Workers Student Society (SWSS), which has called protests at several other universities across Britain this week.
Olive, a member of SWSS in Glasgow, said the mood on the march was “angry”. “As we marched, people just kept joining,” she said. “I looked back and was surprised to see the demonstration went all the way around the corner.
“The protest was called at late notice but still managed to get an impressive number of students out onto the streets.”
Olive said the protest has given other student groups the confidence to stand up for Palestine—in the face of politicians’ and the media’s witch-hunt of Palestine solidarity. “I think other students were nervous,” she said.
“We’d contacted other societies and had no reply. When we were at our stall, people said they were disappointed that no one else was organising anything. But we broke the seal. Afterwards, we had members of other societies asking if they could collaborate with us.
“I think the best thing we did was just call the demonstration. We didn’t contact the university for permission. We just took action.”
Olive added, “Students from other societies approached us after the protest and asked to collaborate. We plan to have another protest and occupy a university building if Israel launches a ground invasion of Gaza.”
Yasmin, a member of SWSS at the University of Manchester, helped organise a protest on campus on Monday. “There were 50 people there when we started and it grew very quickly to about 100,” she said. “The energy was great, and the mood was so angry.
“Our university put out a statement that basically this is a two-sided conflict. Speakers called them out and said the statement was bullshit.
Hundreds of students in Glasgow walked out in solidarity with Palestine
— Socialist Worker (@socialistworker) October 17, 2023
“Everyone there said they wanted to keep protesting for Palestine and said next time they’ll bring their classmates and friends.”
University bosses are attempting to intimidate pro-Palestinian students. At Soas university in London, several students have been suspended and barred from campus for participating in a rally.
The Soas Palestine Society (PalSoc) said, “Members of the Palsoc committee that were not even present at the rally were issued formal warnings by the university. This is a clear act of political repression and an attempt to silence Palestinian voices on campus.”
The best response to university bosses’ threats is to defy them and take action. Students have already organised protests at universities in Liverpool, Kingston, Leicester, Portsmouth, Queen Mary university in London, Kingston and Bristol.
SWSS has details of the protests on its Instagram, follow its account for updatesOriginal post