Lecture halls blockaded, controversial Hamas symbol Police clear pro-Palestinian demonstration at Bonn Uni

Bonn · Pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied several rooms in the main building of the University of Bonn on Wednesday morning. In addition to banners, they also hung up a controversial Hamas symbol. After the

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators once again occupied rooms at the University of Bonn.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators once again occupied rooms at the University of Bonn.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied several rooms in the main building of the University of Bonn on Wednesday morning. In addition to banners, they also hung up a controversial Hamas symbol. After the university filed a criminal complaint, the police cleared the occupied rooms.

Masked pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied several rooms in the main building of the University of Bonn at around 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The police secured the area at Hofgarten and called in additional forces for reinforcement. The situation surrounding the incident was also monitored using a drone.

After the University of Bonn filed a criminal complaint against the demonstrators, the police cleared the occupied lecture halls at around 12.20 pm. According to police spokesman Michael Beyer, the provisional number of occupiers was put at 16 at around 1 pm. They had previously announced that they would not be leaving the rooms voluntarily. The people were taken to police headquarters to establish their identity.

Bonn University files criminal charges

In a press release on Wednesday afternoon, the University of Bonn announced that it had filed criminal charges against the demonstrators. "The occupation of the lecture halls during the current semester constitutes an infringement of the freedom of research and teaching," it continued. The university also stated that escape routes had been blocked and fire doors closed with cable ties in the course of the occupation.

Occupiers hang up controversial Hamas symbol

In addition to banners with protest slogans, the occupiers also hung a controversial Hamas symbol in the form of a red triangle from the windows of the university building. Middle East experts have repeatedly expressed criticism of this in recent weeks: Hamas was using the red triangle to mark war targets and Jewish people to be attacked, among other things. Pro-Palestinian activists, on the other hand, have distanced themselves from this interpretation of the symbol. Demonstrators also handed out leaflets in front of the building. In them, the lecture hall occupiers identified themselves as members of the protest camp at Hofgarten, which was disbanded at the end of May.

The 25 or so demonstrators who gathered in front of the main university building at Hofgarten as part of the solidarity rally shouted slogans such as "free Palestine". During the evacuation of the occupied lecture halls, the rally split up. Both at the main entrance and at the Hofgarten, they continued to shout slogans towards the building in the early afternoon.

Activists had already occupied rooms at Bonn University in May and disrupted events on several occasions. This had also led to violence.

Original text: Emre Koc und Jonas Dirker

Translation: Mareike Graepel