Protesters have erected tents at UCC demanding a statement from the college calling for a ceasefire in Palestine.

‘We’re here for the long-term’

It’s been a rainy first couple of nights for protestors camping on UCC’s immaculate lawn as they await a statement from the college calling for a ceasefire in Palestine.

Tents were erected at the Main Quad on Wednesday night where a group made up of students and staff plan to remain until their demands are met.

The UCC Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is demanding the college releases a statement calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Palestine.

It comes following similar protests by students at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin over the weekend.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, group spokesperson Mikey Rose said he feels their demands are reasonable while he acknowledges that there are other complex interests at play.

“That's what we're competing with, a Palestinian people against the profit interest of companies that do happen to be connected in some way, shape or form through the universities,” said Mr Rose.

“It's not that we want to be here. It's something we can't shake on, the urgency of this - they have to meet our demands,” he added.

The group is also demanding that the college does not welcome politicians or officials onto its grounds until the Occupied Territories Bill is passed. The bill, which is currently before Dáil Éireann, would make it an offence for a person to import or sell goods or services originating in an occupied territory or to extract resources from an occupied territory in certain circumstances.

At the time of writing this article, the college had not yet responded directly to the UCC BDS group.

Mr Rose continued: “What we're demanding really is that they (UCC) are just open, and they are transparent. We're not saying everything has to be done instantly, it's just, let's be clear what the connections are.”

So far, the reception on campus to the encampment has been positive and supportive, added Mr Rose.

In a statement issued by UCC, the college said it is in an ongoing, direct and constructive engagement with UCC Students’ Union (SU) on issues regarding the university’s position on the conflict in Gaza.

The statement read: “The university is establishing a Palestine Emergency Response Working Group, involving SU representation, and we will continue to work with the SU on this and the other aspects of our response.

“The university is committed to developing an ethical, human rights-based framework, in line with the NUI Human Rights Principles and Code of Conduct and international standards. This will ensure that UCC’s academic, research and business activity is in line with the university’s values. This framework – developed in partnership with the academic community including students – will inform a review of all of UCC’s current relationships, including research and industry partnerships.”