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Students and Community Members March for Palestine

On Wednesday 7 February, around 200 students and members of the community peacefully marched around St Andrews to demonstrate “visible support for Palestine.” The march itself was part of a series of ongoing protests organised by students. 

A coalition of societies and student groups have been organising stationery protests outside of College Gate every Wednesday since the beginning of the semester to show solidarity with Palestine. The coalition includes Amnesty St Andrews, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Students’ Network, Refugee Action St Andrews, Middle Eastern and North African Society (MENA), St Andrews Muslim Society (STAMSA), and St Andrews Socialist Workers Student Society (SWSS). The crowd of attendees at that Wednesday’s protest were asked by St Andrews student and SWSS member, Dugald Mcfarland, if they wanted to intensify action and march around the town. All were in favour. 


“The primary aim has been to raise awareness and show that people in St Andrews, and particularly students, care about what's going on in Palestine,” said Mcfarland.  


He was inspired to suggest the march to the crowd as part of the national Stand With Gaza Day of Action organised by the British activist group Stop The War Coalition. The protesters in St Andrews joined thousands across the United Kingdom who also escalated action at their universities and workplaces on 7 February. 


Attendees of the march said that calls were made for the University of St Andrews to divest money they have invested in companies that either support or profit from Israel's actions in Palestine. The University of St Andrews currently has £1,795,211 invested in “complicit” companies, according to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s University Complicity Database. 


A member of Amnesty St Andrews, who was one of three speakers at the march, said it was a “good reminder of people’s unity” and that “it was amazing to see how many people care about this.” They said that because attempting to navigate more bureaucratic channels to support Palestine has proven frustrating and futile at times, there is “a lot of merit to going through non-institutional means and taking to the streets.” 

Image by Helen Lipsky

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