New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Students organize sit-in at NYU London in solidarity with protesters arrested across the US

Over a dozen students demonstrated at NYU’s study abroad sit in London, expressing solidarity with student protesters across U.S. colleges and demanding that the university cut ties with Israel.
Connor Patton
(Connor Patton for WSN)

Around 15 students at NYU London held a sit-in at the study away site’s academic center Wednesday to call for the university to divest from Israel and express solidarity with students and faculty taking part in the Gaza Solidarity Encampment outside the Paulson Center.

Students put up posters reading “FREE PALESTINE” and “NYU FUNDS GENOCIDE” on the walls of the center and read Palestinian poems in between classes. Nigel Freeman, the associate director for student life at NYU London, as well as two other faculty members, stopped by the protest to thank demonstrators for being respectful and encouraged them to practice their right to protest.

A junior who helped organize the sit-in and asked to remain anonymous due to safety concerns said the demonstration was meant to help the students at the site stay connected to rising protests across U.S. college campuses, including at NYU, Columbia University and Yale University.

“We are connected to NYU,” the organizer said in an interview with WSN. “We are still benefiting from them funding this genocide.” 

The demonstration at NYU London is one of several sit-ins taking place across NYU’s global campuses, including organized protests in NYU Berlin and NYU Buenos Aires last week, where students also demanded that NYU divest from companies and weapons manufacturers with ties to Israel. In a previous statement to WSN, university spokesperson John Beckman said that NYU is not considering divestment from Israel, citing concerns with the university’s endowment fund.

At the London sit-in, protesters condemned the arrests of student protesters across the country after the New York City Police Department arrested over 100 demonstrators at Columbia after protesters occupied the university’s Hamilton Hall on Tuesday. At NYU, the second Gaza Solidarity Encampment reached the six-day mark after the NYPD swept the first encampment at Gould Plaza, resulting in the arrests of over 120 protesters.

“Students are just right now speaking up for what they believe in,” another student, who requested to remain anonymous, said. “It’s important that we never stop and our voices are not silenced.”

NYU London students expressed that discussions regarding divestment should expand beyond the Middle East and also address international conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. In the DRC, 6.9 million people have been displaced as of October 2023 due to ongoing violence between the military and insurgent groups. Armed conflict in Sudan between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces has led to at least 14,700 deaths in the last year and the internal displacement of at least 6.4 million people. 

Lawyers representing the DRC accused Apple last week of taking advantage of the conflict in the DRC to illegally export minerals used in producing iPhones, despite the company’s assertions that material origins are carefully verified before usage. 

A university spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Contact Connor Patton at [email protected].

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