Trinity College Dublin students occupy university grounds in protest over Israel – The Irish Times

Students at Trinity College Dublin have begun an occupation of the university grounds demanding they “cut ties with Israel”.

Approximately 60 students gathered at Fellows Square beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. The camp follows similar demonstrations on college campuses across the United States.

The protest continued on Saturday with a solidarity march planned by supporters on Saturday from the Spire on O’Connell Street to TCD at noon.

In a statement published on Friday in Boycott, Divestment, Sanction). principles supported by the vast majority of students and staff.”

He later posted a photograph of park benches piled up in front of the entrance to the Old Library containing the Book of Kells.

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) confirmed that “there is a TCD BDS student camp at Trinity. Trinity supports students’ right to protest within university rules and is closely monitoring the situation.

“Access to campus is restricted to students, staff and residents with university identification. We will keep you informed.”

A message on the university’s booking platform for the Book of Kells Experience said it would be closed on Saturday, May 4 “due to circumstances beyond our control.”

The university said the closure of the Old Library will affect researchers “whether students, staff or visiting international researchers. “It also affects the staff who work there, many of whom are students.”

Hundreds of Trinity staff and postgraduates previously signed a call for the university’s chancellor to carry out a review of links with Israeli institutions.

In a statement, the university said it has an endowment fund that is not managed by the university, but by investment managers. Its company selection is guided by the United Nations Global Compact Violators List, the United Nations Level 5 Controversies List, and the company’s ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance. “In recent months we have continued working and, as a result, the portfolio will be updated with reference to the UN blacklist,” he added.

Earlier on Friday, TCD management defended its decision to fine the university’s student union €214,000 for financial losses suffered by disruptive protests throughout the year.

The union and protest groups have been involved in blocking access to the Book of Kells in protest over issues such as fee increases and the university’s stance on Gaza on several occasions since last September.

The move has drawn criticism from students, academics and some politicians who described the move as an attempt to suppress the student protest.

In a statement, Trinity College Dublin said it was a not-for-profit organization that could not survive solely on government funding and is dependent on other sources of income.

Jeffrey Sardina of TCD’s PWO (Graduate Workers Organization) said he was warned that he will not be allowed to graduate if he or the union does not pay the fine.

Mr. Sardina has been summoned to a meeting with the junior dean of TCD to explain his actions and those of other students in blocking access to the Book of Kells at the university.

The letter states that unless the fine is paid, the sum of money could become a “debt to the university that must be paid as a prerequisite for graduation.”