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Student Protests Go Global

Contrary to some expectations, the global reaction to U.S. student protests against the war in Gaza has been largely positive with student groups in the Mexico, UK, and France even creating “solidarity encampments” to support the movement.

At Mexico City’s UNAM, the country’s largest college, students erected several tents in front of the university’s administration buildings in solidarity against Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Mexican geography student Alexa Carranza told National Public Radio (NPR) that she was “heartened by the U.S. college protests, particularly since she had long considered U.S. students to be apathetic about global injustice. Mexican students were demanding their government should entirely sever its diplomatic relations with Israel.

Ana Jiménez, an 18-year-old UNAM student who grew up in Guerrero, a region plagued by drug cartel conflict can relate to the Gaza conflict. “We need global solidarity, an empathetic world,” she told NPR. “When you’re young, there is no other choice but to be a revolutionary.”

UK students have been campaigning to end British arms exports to Israel with protests at government and arms manufacturers’ offices. At Warwick University in central England, students and staff built an encampment on a central campus square and demanded that the university sever relations with companies supplying arms to Israel.

Warwick has academic and research partnerships with companies involved in the production of weapons systems or components used in weapons, including Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Moog.

Elite French school Sciences Po, alma mater of many French politicians, has been the scene of major protests. Despite students’ specific demands, Sciences Po’s leadership says it will not cut ties nor investigate its connections with four Israeli universities. Police were called in to help disperse protestors at Sciences Po’s campus and at the famous Sorbonne.

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