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Students continue to protest for 'Arms out of Bristol' on offer holder day

Three students covered themselves in fake blood for the second time this academic year outside of the University of Bristol's Royal Fort Gardens on Wednesday 28th February.

By Amelia Jacob, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Three students have covered themselves in fake blood outside of the University of Bristol's Royal Fort Gardens for the second time this academic year 'to increase the pressure on the University to cut ties with arms companies.'

The protest took place around 1pm on Wednesday 28th February, which was the University's offer holder day.

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A post shared by Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol (@xryouthbristol)

Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol (XRYB), the youth wing of Extinction Rebellion in Bristol, has claimed responsibility for the event.

During the protest, several other students also covered themselves in blood outside Senate House.

It follows the appearance of several anti-arms graffiti slogans printed on pavements around the Clifton campus.

Spider, a member of XRYB and Bristol student, stated the group 'decided to target an offer holder day to encourage prospective students to look at the ethics of the University that they choose.'

XRYB claim that they are undertaking this campaign in solidarity with Palestine, citing that the University has trading connections with Israel.

XRYB's demands remain the same: they want the University to 'commit to no new research partnerships with companies that produce arms' and to 'immediately end all promotion of arms related careers.'

The group also calls for the University to 'cut its ties with arms companies.'

The group cite global conflict and the climate crisis as reasons for their protest:

'The University of Bristol claims to be committed to tackling the climate crisis, but its continued collusion with arms companies suggests otherwise.'

'UoB must immediately abandon ties with arms companies, seeking funding from and partnership with industries genuinely committed to environmental protection in place of that from the arms industry, and use the valuable expertise, skills, and innovation of its STEM departments to help tackle the climate crisis.'

In response to the protest, a spokesperson for the University of Bristol said: 'We respect our students’ freedom of speech and right to protest and our Vice-Chancellor is always happy to meet with students to hear their concerns. 

'The University’s association with a wide variety of organisations helps drive innovative research and improves our students’ future careers. All our partnerships undergo stringent diligence checks and ethical reviews.'

Image courtesy of Amelia Jacob

What do you think about the reasonings behind the protest?