Image Credit: Cameron Samuel Keys

Pro-Palestinian protestors rally at the Sheldonian to hand demands to the Vice Chancellor

A group of 150-200 pro-Palestinian protestors marched from their encampment to the Sheldonian Theatre when the Vice Chancellor presented professional service awards. 

The group rallied in front of the Theatre around 2 pm on Wednesday. It was led by a number of protestors who had painted their hands blood-red and stood on the front steps. 

They led chanting of slogans, including“From the river to the sea Palestine will be free”, “Disclose divest we will not stop we will not rest,” “Free free Palestine,” “Oxford Uni, what do you say how many kids have you killed today,” “1 2 3 4 occupation no more, 5 6 7 8 Israel is a terrorist state,” and “Ceasefire now.” 

One protester spoke through a megaphone and said,  “while children are being bombed in Gaza, Irene Tracy and the University management are having dinner, the University of Oxford is complicit in genocide.” The Vice-Chancellor is expected to have dinner following the awards ceremony. 

These awards are presented to University Staff in recognition of “ the extraordinary contribution that colleagues in administrative, professional and support roles make to the University, and to furthering Oxford’s academic mission.”

A man with an Israeli flag was seen standing by the protest but was ignored by the group, and cars were able to travel along Broad Street with very minor delays. 

One protestor clashed with the police and university security, occurred at the side of the main group. The gates to the Sheldonian complex were locked in anticipation of the rally and the protestor’s attempt to enter through a side gate was blocked by the police.

She was later overheard explaining that the University Security had said they would allow one protestor in to present their demands, but this had not been relayed to the security on that door, or the police. 

The protest had dispersed by 3 pm with many of the protestors heading back to their encampment outside the Pitts River Museum.

Image Credit: Cameron Samuel Keys

Image Description: Protestors in front of the Sheldonian Theatre