Trinity BDS form blockade at Book of Kells Experience

The dean of students promised protestors he would bring the issue to Provost Linda Doyle

Students led by Trinity BDS (TCD BDS) have begun a sit-in protest inside the Book of Kells Experience against College’s “complicity with genocide in Gaza”.

Protestors first gathered in the Book of Kells Experience gift shop before moving to also block the main entrance, preventing tourists from entering.

Videos show tourists clashing with protestors demanding to enter the tourist attraction on New Square.

The protest is supported by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU).

Speaking at the protest, TCDSU President László Molnárfi criticised Trinity’s “complete and shameful silence” on the bombardment of Gaza.

He said that Trinity is “complicit in the genocide and horrors that are happening in Gaza and in Palestine” and “they turn a complete blind eye unlike what they’ve done for Ukraine which was active support and rightly so”.

As shown by a BDS investigation, College has ties to 15 Israeli organisations.

Molnárfi later said Dean of Students Richie Porter confirmed to protestors that the issues raised would be raised with Provost Linda Doyle at an official meeting.

The TCDSU president said he hopes College follows the example of the University of Galway, which condemned the violence in Gaza and said they would reconsider their ties with Israeli institutions.

In a statement to Trinity News, Molnárfi said: “College has not issued a public statement condemning the genocide in Gaza, or the destruction of universities and the murder of innocent women, men and children by the terrorist state of Israel, despite students raising the issue and staff having signed open letters.”

Molnárfi pointed out that College’s mission statement includes “engaging with issues of global significance”, arguing: “in line with this mission, the College should take a principled stance against the human rights violations in Israel.”

Highlighting the difference in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said:”Trinity publicly (and rightfully) condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but yet remains silent on Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza.”

“The people of Palestine deserve and require our solidarity too. There are countless examples of universities in other countries cutting ties with Israel as per BDS principles, and this is what we are demanding of our university.”

Among College’s ties to Israel is the Weizmann Institute of Science, which Trinity BDS say “openly collaborates with the war industry”.

A recent article by The Ditch showed that College is investing in UN-blacklisted Israeli firms, including Bank Leumi, which earlier this month froze the bank account of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

College has been contacted for further comment.