Trinity BDS welcomes College statement, pledges to continue encampment until demands “are met in full”

Demands highlighted include “retroactive amnesty” for student protestors and “the rescinding of the €214,000 bill imposed on the student’s union”

Trinity Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) have welcomed the College statement pledging to review its ties to Israeli institutions and have committed to “continuing our peaceful encampment until all of our demands are met in full”.

These demands include “amnesty of students involved in protests on campus and the rescinding of the €214,000 bill imposed on the students’ union”.

At the encampment which they are calling “free Trinity”, protestors could be seen celebrating the College statement, including singing and dancing by tents. 

In the statement they labelled their meeting with College as “the first proactive engagement the College has had with the BDS group on campus in years” and said this “is a direct result of the pressure and power that student and staff protest has on campus”. 

“While we appreciate these steps are being taken, we note that there are more Israeli companies in the endowment fund as well as suppliers and exchanges that the university has ties to. These will be explored further during ongoing negotiations as the camp goes on.”

The statement also highlighted that College has agreed to “treat the encampment as an internal matter, thus ruling out the involvement of Gardaí or legal action”. 

They have said this decision will allow them “to enter a new phase of the encampment, where [they] will open up to a whole range of activities and events that will allow Trinity students and staff to become more involved without fear of academic or legal retribution”.

“We’ve witnessed a historic mass movement on the march for 7 months, and while our partial victory today is just the first step, it hopefully will be one towards ending Ireland’s complicity in the oppression of Palestinians, bringing them closer to a liberated future,” they said.

TCD BSD and TCDSU also thanked students, staff and the general public for their support and called “on the involvement of all students and staff in our encampment” and on “others to continue movement outside campus”. 

“While we continue our encampment, it is important not to lose sight of what has driven this protest, the ongoing genocide in Gaza and the 75 year-long occupation of Palestine. We are responding to a global call made from Palestine, and it is important that people all around the world do the same thing” the statement continued. 

“Just yesterday evening, Israel ordered the evacuation of east Rafah, risking the displacement of 200,000 people.” 

They concluded by calling on people to support the BDS movement: “It is now more important than ever for people to stand on the side of justice and peace, and a free Palestine.”

TCDSU President László Molnárfi has said while protestors welcome the concessions made by College this evening, they “cannot stop yet”.

“This is the time to push Trinity College Dublin to divest from all Israeli companies in the endowment fund as well as suppliers and exchanges,” he said.

TCD BSD Chair Isobel Duffy said she hopes “students will take this partial success as a driving force behind continuing action”.

“We must not cease to push and pressure College to end all of their complicity with the genocide in Gaza,” she said.

“We will never be satisfied with half-measures. The students united will never be defeated.”

The encampment began Friday evening with 60 protestors, since growing to roughly 100 students in 70 tents.

College announced earlier today that students and staff events will be permitted to take place and the Sports Centre will reopen. 

The libraries will move to summer opening hours open from 9:30am-5pm with Kinsella Hall and the 1937 Reading Room remaining open 24/7.

A poll by Trinity News with 1,360 students found that 80.44% support the encampment, while 78.31% said they agree with TCDSU’s response to the situation in Gaza.

Kate Henshaw

Kate Henshaw is current Editor-in-Chief of Trinity News, and a graduate of Sociology and Social Policy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor