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AUC Students Protest to Demand Divestment from Israel-Linked Firms

April 23, 2024
A banner stating “where is our money going?” as AUC students protest against the university’s collaboration with Israel-linked firms. Image Credit: @ase_auc/Instagram

Students at the American University of Cairo (AUC) staged demonstrations on 22 April urging the university administration to sever ties with corporations accused of supporting the Israeli occupation, a joint Instagram post by the Egyptian Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement and the Anthropology Sociology Egyptology Association (ASE) explains.

The two companies in question are information and technology company Hewlett-Packard (HP) and insurance company AXA, the post reveals.

The protests, occurring multiple times over the past few days, come in light of Palestine Week –– a cultural event organised by the student-run Al-Quds Club at the main campus in New Cairo.

“[The students] demanded that the university administration cut ties with these entities and commit to boycotting companies listed by the BDS movement following a seminar organised in Ewart Hall in the university’s Tahrir campus amidst security crackdowns,” the post explained.

Despite interruptions by campus security, one student managed to take the stage and read a statement on behalf of students, alumni, and faculty members.

The statement called on the university administration to promptly terminate connections with AXA and HP and any other Israel-linked entities; ensure full financial transparency in the future, disclosing the allocation of tuition fees; and amend future contracts with on-campus vendors to prevent the sale of products linked to supporting the occupation.

During the reading of the statement, campus security cut off power to the seminar hall, prompting chants in support of Palestine and against Israel.

The audience also criticised AUC President Ahmed Dallal for attempting to suppress the protest and maintaining ties with corporations tied to the occupation.

ASE and BDS Egypt also highlighted that university security personnel assaulted several students and shut off the lights in the hall to disperse them. Campus security later apologised to the students and promised to return the confiscated banner, an anonymous student told Mada Masr.

AUC’s student body displayed several acts of solidarity with Palestine since the war on Gaza began on 7 October –, including an on-campus march on 10 October.

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