At 13:05 four activists started chanting “free free Palestine” from above the VU restaurant, rolling out two Palestinian flags over the ledge. The restaurant was packed with students and staff, many of whom continued on with their lunch and conversations. “We want to talk to you today as Palestinian students and academic staff”, yells PhD researcher Sara Rachdan. She says VU Amsterdam is complicit and should cut ties with universities and companies involved in a genocide.
“Just shut your mouth!”, one person in the restaurant interrupts halfway through the action. The speech went on for a bit longer, ending with various English and Arabic chants. There isn’t much appetite in the audience for chanting along, but the activists score two fairly big applauses from the crowd. Roughly fifteen minutes after the start, the activists quiet down and stick around a little longer.
After reaching out for comment about the allegation that VU Amsterdam is complicit and should break its ties with Israeli institutions, a VU Amsterdam spokesperson responded that they haven’t received any demands by the activists and are not familiar with the details of their demands.