The Guardian • Issue #2101

ANU Student Encampment update

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2101
ANU Student Encampment

The Guardian interviewed Pip from the encampment at Australian National University.

G: How’s ANU treating the encampment?

P: The ANU has continued to fail to engage with our demands or act in good faith, instead they have threatened students and tried to intimidate us into silence. They called in the AFP and issued move on notices (notably on reconciliation day in the ACT). After we stood up to the University security and police, we as an Encampment decided to move location. This was our decision. Our goal has never been to occupy Kambri Lawns, our goal is to make the ANU disclose, divest and cut ties with Arms Manufacturers and the Israeli government. We are still waiting for the Vice Chancellor to address our demands.

G: Do you have support from other students? How about staff?

P: Students are broadly in favour. The student union annual general meeting voted in favour, so that’s very heartening. We’ve had support from staff, academics, and the different unions here, as well as from the local Palestinian community. We’ve also had support from the CPA, and our communications person is a CPA member.

G: The accusation of anti-semitism is being flung at the encampments around the country. What’s your response?

P: Obviously we’re not about anti-semitism! We think its incredibly important to listen to Jewish students, and understand their concerns. Most claims of antisemitism are completely unfounded and are attempts to distract from the real issues.

G: What got you personally involved with the encampments?

P: I have watched the attacks on Gaza and Palestine for years. When I saw the solidarity encampment, I felt that this was a place where I could tangibly help to push for justice human rights.

G: What do you think will happen after the encampments?

P: Personally I’m still working on that. I think I’ll be connecting with Palestinian action group, and  distributing information about university ties with weapons manufacturing [see Peace Notes, this issue]. There’s over one million dollars involved in university connections with weapons manufacturing, we’re waiting on a bunch of FOI requests on that.

G: Any other comments?

P: The sense of community is something I’d like people to know about. It’s very overwhelming and intense being involved in protest like this, but the sense of community and connection is incredible.

Australian National University Encampment demands:

  • That the ANU cut ties with all weapons manufacturing companies, starting with BAE systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, and place a moratorium with any such ties in the future.
  • That the ANU disclose and divest from all companies complicit in the genocide in Gaza, including all companies on the BDS list.
  • That the ANU cut academic ties with Israel, including the exchange partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as any research partnerships with Israeli companies.
  • That the ANU condemns and denounces the ongoing genocide in Gaza and the apartheid Israeli state, including the destruction of all universities in Gaza and the murder of Palestinian students and academics.
  • That the Albanese government immediately cut ties with Israel including, diplomatic, economic and military; stop allowing weapons exports to Israel; and recognise a Palestinian state.
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