APAN supports ANU encampment students as protest continues at new site

May 28, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) has expressed its support for the Gaza Solidarity Encampment at the Australian National University (ANU), as the students continue their protest despite being ordered to move to a new site yesterday.

The relocation of the encampment came after the university administration said students faced the risk of arrest if they had not relocated by 12 noon today, due to what it said were fire safety concerns.

APAN commends the students for holding fast to their objectives, even in the face of threats of punitive academic measures, and continuing to advocate for the ANU to sever all ties with entities profiting from or facilitating Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

As the students themselves have said, their ANU degrees must not contribute to genocide. Their goal is for the ANU to disclose and divest from its interest in entities connected to Israel’s ongoing atrocities against Palestinians.

With the students having now taken steps to demonstrate they are acting in good faith and in cooperation with the university administration’s demands, we now call on the university to honour its stated commitment to freedom of speech and the right to protest, and to protect and support students to do so.

And, we urge the ANU to follow the example of the University of Melbourne, which engaged in meaningful and good faith dialogue with student encampment representatives to address their demands, namely via the disclosure of the university’s research partnerships with Israeli weaponry companies.

The ANU must seize the opportunity, at this critical juncture in time, to demonstrate its commitment to human rights, justice and ethical conduct.

We amplify the students’ call for the community to mobilise at the Kambri Lawns at 10.30am today, Tuesday 28 May, in a rally of support for the students’ demands for the ANU to disclose and divest from any entities with interests in Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Quotes attributed to APAN President Nasser Mashni:

APAN supports the students and their allies in their continued efforts to see their university divulge and divest from its interests in entities that are facilitating and benefitting from Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

“It is deeply troubling that the ANU has gone to such effort to avoid engaging with the students’ demands and to divert attention from its relationships with Israeli weapons manufacturers and other organisations or companies with connections to Israel.

“The university must cease its threats of punitive action against students involved in these protests, and must uphold its commitment to free speech and academic independence.

Protest is a cornerstone of democracy, and we commend the courage of these students and university staff in exercising this right, while demonstrating their willingness to engage with university administrators, despite efforts to punish them.”

Quotes attributed to ANU Solidarity Encampment members:

“As we moved our tents from one location to another, we watched a tent massacre unfold in Rafah. 

“Students of the encampment won’t sit idly by and allow our university to remain complicit in genocide.

“We will not be distracted from our goals.”