Oxford University Students Arrested At Pro-Palestinian Sit-in – News18

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British police said they had arrested 16 people on suspicion of aggravated trespass at the University of Oxford on Thursday, after proPalestinian protesters held a sitin at the university vicechancellor’s office.

OXFORD, England:British police said they had arrested 16 people on suspicion of aggravated trespass at the University of Oxford on Thursday, after pro-Palestinian protesters held a sit-in at the university vice-chancellor’s office.

The Oxford Action for Palestine group (OA4P) said university authorities called police after students began their protest at administration offices, as has happened at other campuses in Britain, the United States and elsewhere during the conflict in Gaza.

“Officers attended Wellington Square at Oxford University, at around 8am this morning following reports that protesters had gained access to a private office within one of the buildings,” Thames Valley Police said in a statement.

One of the 16 people arrested had also been arrested on suspicion of common assault, police said. No arrests had been made at separate protests nearby and elsewhere in the city.

“This was not a peaceful sit-in, but a violent action that included forcibly overpowering the receptionist,” the university said in a statement. “It is clear that a faction of students and faculty claiming to represent OA4P have not been interested in dialogue in good faith,” it added

Footage posted on social media by OA4P showed altercations between officers and students sitting in the road blocking a police van which it said was carrying detainees.

“Let them go,” the demonstrators chanted.

The protesters had been calling for the university to divest from companies with ties to Israel, which is at war with the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“It is evident the administration would rather arrest, silence, and physically assault its own students than confront its enabling of Israel’s genocide in Gaza,” the group said on X.

Police said officers had taken “lawful, proportionate and necessary action in the difficult circumstances they faced”.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Reuters)

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