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National Walkout at Dutch Universities

On May 6, riot police invaded the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and brutally arrested 100 pro-Palestine demonstrators. A similar confrontation happened on May 13. A national walkout was arranged for today for students and staff throughout the country to protest the “ongoing genocide” in Gaza and the violent police methods used to suppress demonstrations. Sarah Bracke, professor of sociology of gender and sexuality at UvA, said on X that she and her colleagues were “horrified” by the actions of the university’s executive board. University officials complained that the peaceful protest felt like an occupation.

Since the University of Amsterdam had refused to negotiate with students, many students felt the protests were necessary to address the large imbalance of power between students and administrators. The national walkout today across the Netherlands was felt everywhere. Each walkout was peaceful, with the exception of the walkout at the University of Amsterdam. There, people wearing all black clothing and masks arrived at the end of the walkout, disrupting it and storming the administrative building. The disrupters wearing black did extensive damage inside the building and headed to the sixth floor where the university board meets. The board was not present and the building had been evacuated.

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