Low turnout at demonstration for Palestine and against police brutality

Around one hundred people demonstrated in front of the Academy building on Tuesday afternoon against what they call police brutality during a pro-Palestinian action last week.

The protesters blamed the university administration and demanded the resignation of UG president Jouke de Vries.

The turnout was lower than expected, possibly because it is currently exam time. Just after midday, no more than one hundred people, students and staff, gathered in front of the Academy building, carrying Palestinian flags and placards with texts such as ‘Students against genocide’.

Meanwhile, the UG buildings in the city centre remained partially closed; they were only accessible to people with university passes. There was also more security present, as the UG is extra vigilant after the occupation of a building at the Oude Boteringestraat last week.


The demonstration began with a speech condemning the ‘police violence against students and the tent camp’. Several people were injured last Wednesday when police intervened after some of them entered the UG premises, according to the protesters.

Besides demanding the university sever all ties with Israel, the protesters want UG boss De Vries to step down. They hold the university administration responsible for the violence, ‘so that is why we are asking for his resignation’.

A university employee who joined the demonstration presented a statement against the alleged police brutality signed by approximately one hundred other UG employees.


Laleh, one of the camp’s spokespersons who was detained last week, spoke about his arrest. ‘All I have ever done is stand up for my people, for my friends. But because of that, I was beaten up and locked in a cell.’ What the UG board did should not go unpunished, he argued.

The protest ended a little further on the Harmonie square, where protesters tied their scarves around the statue of Aletta Jacobs and stuck stickers of the Palestinian flag on the facade and windows of buildings.

The fences that stood in front of the Harmonie square after the clearing of the tent camp last week had been removed by the Groningen municipality on Tuesday morning. The gates under the arches which give access to the rear part of the square were still closed on Tuesday.

Read more: