Gaza War: Protest at Humboldt University – Police begin evacuation

Gaza war
Protest at Humboldt University – Police begin clearing

The evacuation of the parts of the HU occupied by pro-Palestinian activists has begun. Photo

© Soeren Stache/dpa

Pro-Palestinian activists occupy rooms at Berlin’s Humboldt University. First there was talk, now they are clearing out.

The Police have begun clearing parts of the Humboldt University (HU) in Berlin occupied by pro-Palestinian activists. Locked and partly barricaded doors were forcibly opened by the police, said a police spokeswoman.

At the same time, the police are escorting the people who left the building voluntarily outside and establishing their identities. They cannot say how many people are still in the building and there is no information about any injuries.

Shouts like “HU – shame on you” could be heard; according to a dpa reporter, the mood was heated. At 6 p.m. the deadline until which the university management wanted to tolerate the occupation of rooms had passed. In the afternoon, university president Julia von Blumenthal had a non-public discussion with scientists and occupiers. Negotiations with the occupiers then continued. Von Blumenthal also spoke to the police several times.

On Wednesday, the activists occupied rooms at the university; according to the activists, about 100 people spent the night at the university.

Blumenthal expresses regret

University President von Blumenthal expressed her regret that no agreement had been reached with the activists. “I’m not sure whether it would have been successful, but I had the impression that we took a good step with this dialogue,” said von Blumenthal after discussions with the activists. “The order then came from the very top to end the occupation. I followed this order,” she said. By this she meant the governing mayor Kai Wegner (CDU), she said when asked.

The university will not press charges for trespassing because the temporary occupation was tolerated. She cannot yet comment on questions of damage to property, as she has not yet had the opportunity to take a complete look at the building. Blumenthal said of the conversations with the activists that it was possible, with a moderation in mutual respect, to “talk about what we might even be able to get closer to and also talk about what separates us.” It was possible to listen to the suffering of the Palestinian students. Of course, she always had the suffering of Jewish students in mind.


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