Crowds march to College Green in support of Trinity encampment

The demonstration was organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in coordination with Trinity BDS

A large crowd has marched to College Green today in solidarity with the encampment set up by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and Trinity Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (Trinity BDS).

The protest was organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in coordination with TCDSU, Trinity BDS, and the Irish Anti-war Movement. 

Crowds began gathering at noon at the Spire at Noon before beginning the march towards College Green at about 1pm. 

Speaking to Trinity News prior to the march an IPSC organiser said that the “act of Solidarity” was organised “quite late”.

One protester called the students involved with the Trinity encampment “very brave”.

“I just hope that there’s not the same reaction by the so-called authorities similar to the United States,” the protester added.

Another protester called the encampment “an inspiration to all workers” adding that students “are leading the fight”. 

Following the march a large crowd gathered outside Front Gate engaging in a number of chants in support of the encampment and Palestinian liberation. 

TCDSU President László Molnárfi and former TD Ruth Coppinger delivered speeches at the demonstration. 

“The silence, from our institutions, from the government, from organisations and from academic institutions, despite the overwhelming majority of people speaking out for Palestine is absolutely disgraceful,” Molnarfi said.

“This has led to a momentum for our movement and campus organising has been a crucial part of this.”

“We have seen university students and staff stand united all across the world from the US to France to the UK, every single continent speaking out for Palestine. And the reason we are doing this is because our academic institutions our deeply complicit in genocide, in settler colonialism, in apartheid, and that it is disgracefull,” he continued. 

Molnárfi also made reference to the €214k fine issued to the TCDSU by College earlier this week saying that the union “will not be intimidated” by the fine.

Speaking to the crowd Coppinger commended the encampment adding that instead of condemning the students “we should be condemning that trade union leaders aren’t doing the same”. 

Following the speeches, the remaining protesters began demanding that College “open the gates” which had been locked shortly after the beginning of the demonstration. 

Earlier in the afternoon, Irish Healthcare Workers for Palestine and Mothers Against Genocide held a vigil outside of Bank of Ireland on College Green to highlight the uncovering of mass graves at two hospitals in Gaza

Speaking to Trinity News, one demonstrator at the vigil said about the encampment: “We are really proud of our students and the youth for rising up and speaking out for people who are disadvantaged and suffering in the world.”

“We believe it gives great hope for the future,” she added. 

The encampment began last night when approximately 60 students set up tents in Fellows Square. 

​​In a statement to Trinity News last night, College said that while it supports students’ right to protest, “protests must be conducted within the rules of the university”.

Charlotte Kent

Charlotte Kent is the Co-News Editor at Trinity News and a Senior Freshman PPES Student.