Current track




Reason protesters clashed with activist

Written by on May 16, 2024

Pro-Palestine protesters have stormed The University of Queensland, disrupting classes and occupying a building.

The Courier Mail reported the Students for Palestine group planned to occupy the Advanced Engineering Building for the remainder of the day.

A student from the uni told the newspaper that the protest had disrupted his lecture.

“I’ve got a lecture that can’t start, I had a lecture an hour before but no one else could get in,” he said.

Videos posted on social media show protesters inside a building chanting: “Free, free Palestine.”

“This is a private movement that wins,” one man said through a megaphone.

“I promise you we will win this fight and this university will divest from genocide and we will keep going until we win.”

Political activist Drew Pavlou said he was “peacefully” watching the rally when somebody put a Jewish sticker on his bag.

“So I confronted the mob of 100 Trotskyites and socialists and denounced anti-Semitism,” he said on X.

“This baldy guy who is not even a student tried to push me over backwards and I tried to hold onto him to stabilise myself.”

A commenter, @machadomerwhn, wrote on X that the pro-Palestine students needed to be “packed off to Palestine instead of protesting in Australia”.

A University of Queensland spokesperson said security at the campus was continuing to monitor the protest to ensure the safety of their community and to take any necessary action.

“Access to the building was temporarily restricted when the protest commenced, and noise caused some disruptions to teaching,” they said.

“The university is continuing to proactively engage with protest organisers to agree a peaceful resolution to the protest camps, and as part of this, the vice-chancellor met with both groups last Friday.”

In Victoria, thousands of students missed out on classes at The University of Melbourne as a pro-Palestine encampment continued its sit-in inside a huge building.

A university spokeswoman said 6500 students did or would miss out on classes on Wednesday and Thursday.

The university said a camp pitched on April 25 could remain as long as demonstrators were not disruptive. Jewish students have spoken out about feeling ostracised on the campus.

The situation intensified on Wednesday when demonstrators moved into the large Arts West building. They unfurled a banner and proclaimed the building was now called Mahmoud’s Hall after a man killed in Gaza who was enrolled at the university.

Last week, a window at the Queensland university was smashed during a protest by the student group.

Police are also investigating allegations that two security guards were assaulted on campus earlier this month.

Queensland Police confirmed they had not been called to the campus on Thursday.

Read related topics:Brisbane