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Oxford university steps up security after ‘incident’

Protesters in Oxford

A university has increased security measures for students protesting the war in Gaza after an “incident”.

Protest camps, described as “liberated zones”, were set up near Oxford university campuses on 6 May.

Thames Valley Police confirmed it was called to Parks Road on Saturday at 20:50 BST to “reports of disorder”.

Officers issued a section 35 dispersal order to move people on from the area. A force spokesperson said no arrests were made.

Speaker at Oxford University

A university statement confirmed there would be an increased security presence following an incident on Saturday [BBC]

A statement from the University of Oxford said it was “concerned by the incident on Saturday evening”.

It added: “Our key priority throughout this protest has been the safety and welfare of the whole university community, as well as visitors to our buildings and the public.

“We are maintaining an increased security presence around the encampment to ensure the safety and welfare of everybody, while also providing regular protection across the rest of the university.

“We are in close contact with Thames Valley Police and are grateful to them for their swift response on Saturday evening.”

List of demandsList of demands

Protesters hung their list of demands on the gates of the Sheldonian Theatre on Wednesday [BBC]

Protesters hung a list of their demands for the university vice chancellor at the gates of the Sheldonian Theatre on Wednesday.

On the list of demands, protesters called for the university to disclose all finances, overhaul university investment policy, boycott “Israeli genocide, apartheid and occupation” and stop banking with Barclays.

Israel has rejected accusations it is engaging in genocidal acts in its campaign in Gaza, and has insisted it has the right to defend itself following the armed incursion by Hamas on 7 October.

Since that date, more than 35,000 people have been killed, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

The Union of Jewish Students has been approached for comment about the reported incident on Saturday.

It previously said the encampments were creating a “hostile and toxic atmosphere” on campuses and called on universities to “take their duty of care to Jewish students seriously”.

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