After use at Humboldt University: Clean up and processing

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Written By Maya Cantina

Berlin

Following the evacuation of parts of Humboldt University in Berlin occupied by approximately 150 pro-Palestinian activists, Police now process the application. The political debate about the tolerance of the university administration towards the occupation is also likely to continue. Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) generally held teachers accountable and asked them to encourage students to provide arguments. The extent of the material damage to Humboldt University has yet to be determined.

Pro-Palestinian activists occupy rooms at Humboldt University in protest against Israel and in support of Palestinians. The group called Student Coalition Berlin demanded, among other things, that Berlin universities make efforts for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the Gaza war and put pressure on the German government. This should impose an arms embargo on Israel and end all military, financial and diplomatic aid to Israel.

The university administration initially tolerated the occupation and relied on a dialogue between occupiers and scientists. In the evening, the police evacuated the occupied building on the orders of the Senate. Senator for Science Ina Czyborra (SPD) have given the instruction in accordance with Mayor Kai Wegner (CDU), said university president Julia von Blumenthal. Wegner thanked the police on Platform X for their efforts.

Some activists left the rooms voluntarily, others were led out by police. Police said 150 pro-Palestinian activists were led out of the building and there was no word of any injuries.

“Good step taken”

In view of the expulsion, Von Blumenthal expressed her regret that no agreement had been reached. In any case, she did not see the attempted dialogue as a failure in the evening: “I’m not sure if it would have succeeded, but I had the impression that we took a good step with this dialogue,” she said. For her, it’s about seeing the suffering of all those affected. At the start of the deportation, she said it was important for her to be present at this moment.

She wants to show the students that she is also their president, even if she does not share many of the political demands and condemns the damage to property in the building “and condemns everything that has happened, especially among our Jewish students, but also employees and students of the Institute for Social Sciences, among others, were perceived as a threat.”

Buschmann: No condoning of crimes

In view of the protests against the newspapers of the media group Funke, Justice Minister Buschmann said: “There should be no threats, no insults, no approval of crimes.” Especially at universities, the stronger argument should count – and not the louder shouting. The Islamists are responsible for the suffering in Gaza Hamas responsibility, and Germany has a special responsibility towards Israel.

Of course, anyone who disagrees with this attitude can also invoke freedom of expression. “The limit is reached where violence is committed or incited to violence, where personal rights are violated or the symbols of terrorist organizations are used,” the minister said.

Buschmann added that he finds some of the side effects of the protests at universities particularly painful. “That is where young people have to resolve conflicts – with rationally verifiable arguments. Not by shouting down others or threatening them with their fists.” The Minister of Justice defended police action in this context.

‘Universities are special places, but they are not outside the law. Demonstrations the same rules apply on the university campus as for other demonstrations,” he said. ‘It is therefore of course right that the police intervene when there is a violation of the law.’

Clear criticism of tolerance

The CDU had criticized tolerating the occupation as a possible encouragement for further crimes, while the SPD faction had called for “an end to criminal acts and property damage.” The police union had also stated that universities, as places of exchange and discussion, did not provide a basis for legitimizing shouting inhumane and anti-Semitic slogans.

The mood during the eviction was heated: one activist shouted her frustration in the garden: “My family dies every day!” For hours, loud cries could be heard from a demonstration in the immediate vicinity, such as calls for violence or the now banned slogan ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, denying Israel’s right to exist.

Following the Hamas massacre of more than 1,200 dead in Israel on October 7, more than 35,000 Palestinians died in the Gaza war that followed, according to the Hamas-controlled health authority, although the number, which is difficult to independently verify, does not distinguish between between civilians and combatants.


An announcement: This report is part of an automated service of the German Press Agency (dpa), which operates according to strict journalistic rules. It is not edited or controlled by the AZ online editors. Feel free to send questions and comments feedback@az-muenchen.de



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