Skip to content

Students occupy Wills Memorial Building demanding Bristol University to 'stand against genocide'

A group of University of Bristol students has entered the Wills Memorial Building and occupied the space in protest of ‘university’s complicity in the genocide in Gaza.’

Milan PereraDeputy Editor

A group of University of Bristol students has occupied the Wills Memorial Building in protest of the ‘university’s complicity in the genocide in Gaza.’

The students entered the Wills Memorial Building around 12:30pm this afternoon and barricaded themselves inside the Great Hall.

The occupiers have said that they are occupying the space because ‘the University of Bristol is complicit in the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people.’

All the doors to the Main Hall have been blocked off - Student Action Bristol

As things stand, all the doors to the Main Hall have been blocked off.

The boycotters have vowed to continue their occupation until the university has met their demands:

  1. Assurance of no repercussions for anyone involved in the occupation and that anyone can leave at any time.  
  2. Basic necessities for the occupiers. Access to toilet facilities, privacy for the occupiers at the risk of being watched and passage for food and medicine supplies. 
  3. To sever all ties with Arms companies. To cease any arms companies being featured on the Careers Service website/portal. To end all research contracts with arms companies, including but not limited to BAE systems, Airbus and Rolls Royce. 
  4. To cut all ties with Israel to comply with BDS. A financial and academic boycott of Israel.
  5. To end the use of the check-in app.
  6. To not reinstate year abroad placements in Israel. 
  7. Actions to support Palestine and Palestinians. To grant any students affected by the crisis ‘exceptional circumstances’ about assessments. To protect ‘anti-Zionist beliefs’. To confirm staff and students will not be punished for ‘holding anti-Zionist beliefs’. To offer scholarships to displaced Palestinians  
  8. To demand the University expand protest rights at the university so that students can attach banners and disrupt commercial and educational activities 

Speaking to Epigram, one of the protesters said: ‘Acknowledge Palestine exists. This is not merely an ‘Israel-Gaza War’ but a genocide waged to cleanse people from Palestinian land to expand the Israeli colonial project. The university must acknowledge this in all future statements.’

Concurrently another occupation is taking place inside 5 Tyndall Avenue - Milan Perera

The occupiers have stated that they wish to meet Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice Chancellor at the University of Bristol to discuss their demands.

A protest rally in support of the boycott is planned to take place outside the Wills Memorial Building at 7.00 pm this evening.

The occupation of the Main Building at 5 Tyndall Avenue by the group ‘Bristol Occupy for Palestine’ continues.

Regarding this development, a University of Bristol spokesperson said: 'We are aware of this protest. We would always respect the right of our students to peacefully protest within the law.'

Featured image: Student Action Bristol

Bristol University offers support to anyone affected by international conflicts:

You can also contact the wellbeing teams by: