University statement – Abercromby Square protest

A small group of people are occupying Abercromby Square in protest of the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. This follows similar events on university campuses in the UK and US over the past few days and weeks. The surrounding area and University buildings remain open and fully operational at this time.

The continuing violence and loss of life in Israel and Gaza is horrifying. We sincerely hope for an end to the violence and a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The University remains focused on offering practical assistance to all those in our community who are impacted and to anyone who needs support. Over the past few months, we have met with staff and students to discuss issues and concerns and we are liaising with colleagues in other university communities nationally, to share best practice and ideas to provide support for all.

Free speech and peaceful protest on campus

The University of Liverpool unequivocally supports the right to participate in lawful, peaceful protest and Campus Support colleagues are monitoring the situation on Abercromby Square to ensure the safety of the protestors. We are also working to minimise disruption, particularly at this important time of year when many students are taking exams and assessments.

Academic freedom, freedom of speech and teaching our students to think critically and debate difficult issues, are principles at the very heart of the work that universities carry out. We know that there are very different views on this conflict within our diverse community of staff and students. It is enormously important – and central to our institutional values – that everyone can debate issues freely, however difficult and divisive the subject matter.  It is equally important that this is done with mutual respect for differences in opinion and within the parameters of the law.

Reporting any concerns

All members of our community should feel safe and included, and we will never tolerate any form of discrimination, intimidation, incitement, bullying or harassment. Tolerance, compassion and understanding must be central to the conversations we have. If you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed any form of hate or have a safeguarding concern, we would urge you to report this to the University’s Report and Support Team. 

Further information

The University regularly reviews investments and collaborations. Our Ethical Investment Policy can be accessed here. 

For ways to respond individually and support charities working in the region, please see our support for those impacted by global conflict and humanitarian disasters.