8 May, 2024 @ 16:18
1 min read

Madrid students join a growing number of protest camps across Spain calling for an end to the conflict in Gaza

Students camp at the Complutense University in Madrid
Students seen camping in the premises of the Complutense University of Madrid during a Pro-Palestine demonstration. Madrid university students gathered this Tuesday near the campus of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) where they set up an indefinite camp with the aim of showing their support for the Palestinian people and demanding an end to the conflict in Gaza.

STUDENTS in Madrid have become the latest to set up a protest camp to call for an end to the conflict in Gaza. 

The tents were pitched yesterday on the Complutense University’s campus, and saw the demonstrators brave a chilly night in the capital. 

The Madrid students said that they were calling for an end to the Israeli intervention in the Gaza Strip, and were demonstrating in support of the ‘Palestinian people’s right to exist’, according to news agency Europa Press. 

Ahead of the camp-out, students from the university also staged a protest on the campus, chanting: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will conquer!”

Read more: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez insists Spain will recognise Palestine ‘as a state in its own right’

Students camp at the Complutense University in Madrid
Students camp at the Complutense University in Madrid on May 7, 2024.

A number of other Madrid universities have signed up to the protest, including the Uned distance-learning university, the Carlos III and the Rey Juan Carlos. 

Following the example of universities in the United States, a series of higher-learning institutions in Spain have already been staging similar demonstrations. 

On Monday, students from the University of Barcelona began a camp out in support of Palestine, while on April 29 students from the University of Valencia did the same. 

Meanwhile, protestors from the University of Alicante will stage their own tent-based demonstrations today, Wednesday.

The main opposition Partido Popular (PP), however, voiced its opposition to the camps on Wednesday. 

The conservative party’s main spokesperson, Borja Semper, claimed that the demonstrators were ‘trying to absolve Hamas of all blame’.

“If these demonstrations, and I have this sensation, are meant to go against Israel and in favour of Hamas, I don’t agree at all,” he said, in comments reported by radio network Cadena SER.

“I believe that Hamas is an organisation that must be exterminated because it is a terrorist organisation and Israel is a democratic state that is defending itself,” he added. 

His words echoed those of Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, who on Tuesday said he would like to see ‘the same firm condemnation of Hamas’.

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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