Independent journalism about VU Amsterdam | Since 1953
18 April 2024

& Culture

VU calls police on pro-Palestine activists

A group of activists demanding an academic boycott of Israel moved outside after the police showed up, showing that VU enacts on her plan to come down harder on spontaneous protests.

The last big sit-in by pro-Palestine activists demanding VU cuts her ties went uninterrupted, but the university recently said it would no longer tolerate such actions. Activists were not deterred and planned another protest for today.

They started at 12.30 PM, with roughly a dozen students sitting down in the main building near the front entrance. In response, the entrance to the building was closed and retractable barriers were placed to discourage people from walking by or joining the protest. University representatives told the activists that they were breaking campus rules, but the activists did not back down. Instead, the group, which had grown to around fifty people, decided to march through the building while chanting. They said they considered it pointless to protest without an audience.

Not prepared to be arrested

The short march ended with the activists lining up by the restaurant, chanting phrases such as “academic boycott now”, “end Dutch complicity” and “stop bombing Gaza”. They slammed on railings and tables to emphasize their chants. Most people in the restaurant appeared indifferent to the protest and continued their lunch and conversation. Some restaurant guests modestly clapped or slammed along with the protesters. Meanwhile, a group of four police officers approached the VU basement from the outside and the protesters decided to move back to where the sit-in started.

As the police entered the scene and it became clear they would take action, one of the leading activists announced that they were not prepared to be arrested and took the protest outside. There, they continued their slogans, such as “shame on VU”, until wrapping it up at 1.30 PM.

VU’s ‘true face’

“We think the VU showed its true face today by calling the police on peaceful protesters”, says one of the activists afterwards. “We will continue until the VU cuts its ties”.

At the same time as the loud protest at VU, activists at AUC engaged in a silent protest in their building. They wanted to show solidarity with the students facing consequences for their activism.


Stick to the subject and show respect: commercial expressions, defamation, swearing and discrimination are not allowed. Comments with URLs in them are often mistaken for spam and then deleted. Editors do not discuss deleted comments.

Fields with * are obligated
** your email address will not be published and we will not share it with third parties. We only use it if we would like to contact you about your response. See also our privacy policy.