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Oxford Councillors support OA4P arrested protesters

Three Oxford city councillors of the Oxford Community Independents have published a statement in support of Oxford Action for Palestine (OA4P). Councillors Edward Mundy, Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, and Barbara Coyne wrote on X on 23rd May that they support the “peaceful sit-in” and “condemn the appalling response in the strongest possible terms.”

Mundy, Djafari-Marbini and Coyne also called on the Oxford University to “end hostility toward its students, faculty and community members; to call for the release of the arrested students; and to enter into good faith negotiations with Oxford Action for Palestine.” 

Furthermore, the Councillors said that the University administration’s “reliance on violent force to disperse a peaceful protest” will further remove the trust between the University and its students and staff. They added that they “applaud Oxford University students and staff for their courage” regarding what they described as “every-intensifying, soul shattering violence we all continue to witness daily in Gaza and throughout Palestine.”

OA4P told Cherwell that they are “pleased to see the Oxford Community Independent Councillors issue their statement supporting the struggle against settler colonialism, military occupation, and apartheid in Palestine. They join countless members of the Oxford community who are appalled by the University Administration’s disproportionate response to last week’s peaceful student protest, when it showed that it would rather criminalise, silence, and endanger its own students instead of confronting its enabling of israel’s genocide in Gaza.”

Additionally, the Councillors referred to the city of Oxford in their statement. They wrote that the Oxford city council has “unanimously voted for a ceasefire and reaffirmed the rights of everyone in Oxford to use peaceful means such as boycott, divestment and sanction” to end international support for “Israeli oppression of Palestinians and well-documented violations of international law”. 

Late last year multiple Labour Councillors quit the party over Keir Starmer’s comments on the War in the Gaza Strip. According to the Oxford Mail, the Councillors that resigned are Shaista Aziz, Dr Amar Latif, Paula Dunne, Imogen Thomas, Edward Mundy, Jabu Nala-Hartley, Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, Duncan Hall, Barbara Coyne and Ajaz Rehman. 

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