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Warwick University students end campus occupation after agreement to tackle racism

England (QNN)- After 30 days of campus occupation, Students of Warwick University have ended their protest after their demands to stop institutional racism were met.

Dozens of pro-Palestine students had occupied Warwick University’s Student Union (SU) building for a month after a former Israeli soldier was invited to speak on their campus.

On 19 November, Warwick Occupy announced they will occupy the campus for 30 days, protesting the invitations of retired Lieutenant Colonel Eyal Dror to speak “in the same week that over 34 Palestinians were massacred by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).”

A statement by the students said the event, which was organized by the Jewish Israeli Society Warwick, aimed at whitewashing the crimes of the Israeli army.

The protest, which was organized against the invitation of an Israeli Lieutenant, has extended its goals to include struggling against institutional racism at the University.

The Israeli-backed event gave the former Israeli Lieutenant a platform to speak on “the incredible story of ‘Operation Good Neighbour’, the [Israeli army’s] humanitarian aid operation in Syria, and how nearly 700 humanitarian operations on the Israeli-Syrian border saved thousands of civilian lives,” according to the society’s Facebook post.

The University of Warwick student newspaper The Boar reported that Taj Ali, Warwick SU’s Ethnic Minorities Officer, said: “We as students, as the grassroots, need to lobby our students’ unions to take into account the welfare of Muslim students, of Palestinian students, any marginalised community.

“We are here to protest against an Islamophobic organisation that has links to the Israeli government; that has funded people who have spread propaganda on campus to whitewash apartheid.”

Warwick SU responded to all 11 of Warwick Occupy’s demands “with an overall commitment to changing the culture and processes of the Union to be proactively anti-racist; listening to and centring the voices of our most marginalised student members.”

The SU further apologised for “not acknowledging the petition in (their) statement” and stated that it “accepts that the SU could have done more to support students who were subjected to racist, Islamophobic, homophobic and sexist abuse online” and offered an “unequivocal apology to all those affected.”

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