Executive Board talks to activists from Engineering Solidarity Palestine Delft

At least 130 people gathered in front of the Executive Board’s door during the ‘walk-out’ on Monday. The organisers said that they felt solidarity with students and staff members in Amsterdam and Utrecht. They also demanded that TU Delft breaks ties with Israeli universities and the weapons industry. Vice-Rector Rob Mudde had a brief talk with the activists.

(Photo: Thijs van Reeuwijk)

The ‘walk-out’, just as in other student cities, started at 11:00 on Monday 13 May and was to have lasted until 14:00. At the busiest point, there were about 100 people in front of the door of the Executive Board in the Free Zone. There were speeches, banners saying ‘Free Palestine’, and Palestinian flags and scarves. Most of the people present did not carry any political statements.

Concerns about Gaza

Within half an hour after the demonstration started, Vice-Rector Magnificus Rob Mudde and Dean Fred van Keulen of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering came outside to briefly talk to the protesters. “I would very much like to hear what you want to say to the Executive Board,” said Mudde to Tom Twigt, the spokesperson and recently graduated TU Delft alumnus who is also known as a protester for End Fossil Fuels LU TUD.

Rob Mudde in gesprek met activisten, die op de rug te zien zijn
Rob Mudde in discussion with the activists. (Photo: Thijs van Reeuwijk)

While the protesters in the background called out things like ‘Free, free Palestine’, Twigt said that he and his fellow activists ‘are all extremely concerned about the situation in Gaza’. He also referred to what he sees as TU Delft’s ‘complicity’ in the situation. Engineering Solidarity Palestine Delft believes that TU Delft should stop working with Israeli universities and the weapons industry. The protesters believe that academic freedom is also under pressure. In relation to this, Twigt cited the ‘Architecturing Destruction in Gaza Palestine’ gathering that was cancelled by the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture in April.

List of partnerships

“I will take what you said on board,” Mudde responded. He will bring it up in the meeting with the Executive Board and in the consultation process in the Universities of The Netherlands on handling demonstrations on the universities’ campuses. He also stated that TU Delft is working on a list of partnerships with Israeli institutions.

Twigt and Mudde agreed to continue their discussion on Thursday 16 May. In order to prepare for this, Mudde asked the activists to put their demands on paper.

Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the demonstrations in Amsterdam and Utrecht on Monday afternoon. Their anger was directed both at the war in Gaza and at the Executive Boards of the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University that had filed reports against the demonstrators several times because of which the police took action, sometimes using violence.

Editor Redactie

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.