The encampment at Queen Mary University of London
LocalLocal democracyNews

Queen Mary University of London takes Palestine encampment to court

Queen Mary University of London has taken its pro-Palestine encampment to court with a possession order.

The pro-Palestine student encampment at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) was issued a possession order on 6 June by the school. The order went to the high court this morning.

The case could be a landmark in the UK, with a recent proliferation of pro-Palestine encampments on campuses. A ruling might inform how similar cases are judged across the country.

The encampment has been up since 13 May on the lawn of QMUL’s Queens’ Building. Members of the encampment are demanding changes in QMUL’s policies, including divestments of funds connected to Israel. They are planning to continue the encampment until demands are met.

If the order goes through, the encampment members will be given legal notice to leave, with the possibility of enforcement. QMUL principal Colin Bailey said in an email to staff that the order was issued due to health and safety risks.

These include concerns about flags and banners, a fire risk posed by the encampment, and worries that the encampment is attracting individuals who will cause property damage.

QMUL students, staff and supporters of the encampment waited outside the courtroom this morning to show support, before the hearing at 9 am. The encampment was represented by a lawyer in court. No individuals were named in the order, which was addressed to ‘PERSONS UNKNOWN IN OCCUPATION’.

As of writing, we have heard that the order has been adjourned, meaning a final decision has not been reached today.

A spokesperson from Queen Mary University of London said:

‘The behaviours of members of the protest encampment at Queen Mary’s Mile End campus, and that of external individuals taking part in the associated rallies, has led to serious health and safety risks…The serious nature of the health and safety risks has given us no option but to take legal action to disperse the camp.’

Your local news is at risk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.