New facilities blocked by pro-Palestinian students in Lille and Saint-Étienne

This Thursday, May 2, blockades continue at several universities. After Sciences Po Paris last week, the institutes of political studies (IEP) in Strasbourg, Rennes or even Menton or Sorbonne are the subject of mobilization of the new school.

Starting with two locations in Lille. The Lille IEP is actually closed this Thursday morning after “attempt to block” students “partly exterior” at Sciences Po, management said in a news release. The students who mobilized at dawn for this blockade then went to the Higher School of Journalism (ESJ), located on the same street. They managed to block access, shouting “Children of Gaza, children of Palestine, it is humanity that is being murdered”. “More ethics on our sets”, “More than 100 journalists killed in Gaza”we could read on the signs posted outside the establishment, while around fifty protesters stood outside the door locked with heavy chains.

A “very rare” incident at ESJ

“No disruption inside the school, no breaking outside”said ESJ director Pierre Savary to AFP and emphasized that this type of action is “very rare at ESJ”. Classes are canceled for the whole day. Among the students’ demands is the abolition of the joint master’s degree at Sciences Po Lille with Tel Aviv University. “Our Board of Trustees has clearly spoken out against the boycott of Israeli universities”the management of Science Po indicated in the estimate “legitimate that our community can express its solidarity with residents who have become victims of war”. A reflection meeting is scheduled for Friday “Actions to be undertaken within the school and in conjunction with our partners”.

A handful of students also gathered at the university site in Saint-Étienne, where police intervened earlier on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent noted. As on Monday morning, about fifteen students piled trash cans in front of the entrances to the building of the Jean Monnet University, which houses the Department of Political and Territorial Studies, the Lyon branch of the IEP and the Saint-Étienne School of Economics.

The minister calls for maintaining order

The police intervened on Tuesday to evict them, and the delegation was immediately received by the president of the university, Florent Pigeon, who they asked to be allowed to hold a conference on Palestine. During this meeting “We didn’t reach an agreement”one of their representatives told AFP to explain the resumption of the blockade the day after May 1.

Police have also intervened in recent days at Sciences Po Paris after a mobilization marked by tension and at the Sorbonne to evacuate activists who had set up tents. The mobilization on French campuses, which actually began last week, echoes the protests agitating prestigious American universities. Higher Education Minister Sylvie Retailleau asked university presidents on Thursday to ensure “keep order” public, using “greatest scope of powers” that have.

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