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Oxford University to meet with students from OA4P

A month after the Oxford Action for Palestine encampment began, students announced that yesterday night Oxford University’s Vice-Chancellor, Irene Tracey, and other senior members of administration have responded to their email request for a meeting, and students are in the process of arranging a discussion.

According to a statement from Oxford Action for Palestine (OA4P), the University is “expressing the desire to work with the students on matters pertaining to OA4P’s demands… Gaza can’t wait, and neither can we. We are eager to meet with the Vice Chancellor and the Administration, and we look forward to working closely with the University to address our collective obligation to act in the face of this genocide.”

With a first camp in front of the Natural History Museum and a second camp on the Radcliffe Camera lawn, the encampment has seven demands primarily relating to the University’s assets and investments, calling for divestment from Israeli companies, arms companies, and Barclays Bank. An initial University statement, released on 14th May, did not include plans to look into divestment and affirmed its ties with Barclays.

Since then, the encampment had escalated, including staging a ‘die-in’ at graduation and a sit-in inside the University administration offices in Wellington Square, where 17 protesters were arrested.

OA4P had stated that the Rad Cam tents will leave as soon as the University begins negotiations with a set of preconditions. Tracey’s statement after the arrests called the preconditions “prejudicial” as it includes “progress towards six demands” and that OA4P “have not been transparent about their membership nor whose interests they represent.”

OA4P has since denied those claims, stating that it never asked for progress toward its six demands. Rather, its preconditions include a willingness to negotiate in good faith, regular meetings, and amnesty for all students involved in the encampment. It is unclear whether the University’s willingness to meet means the Rad Cam encampment will leave.

Cherwell has contacted the University for comments.

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