Students and staff at the Erasmus University took part in a nation-wide walk-out campaign on Wednesday in support of the 46th annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, an observance organised by the United Nations since 1977.

Those participating walked out at noon and gathered at the Erasmus Building for a teach-in. Surrounded by student-made canvases that were hung on the main hall of the Aula, the circle of approximately 50 people discussed the decolonisation of educational institutions and shared ideas on how to make the historical context of the region more accessible.

“We do believe in disruptive actions. But we can also have these moments of knowledge-sharing. We still want to find a connection with the institution”, a student representative from Palestine Solidarity Rotterdam (PSR) and recent graduate from the Sociology Master in Engaging Social Issues at EUR reflects. The student wishes to remain anonymous as some students and staff, particularly those who are active members of PSR, have been bullied in the past for expressing their support to Palestine.


The campaign was initiated by different student and youth organisations across the Netherlands who demand, among other points, a cease in what they call academic censorship in Dutch universities and the termination of partnerships between Dutch universities and Israeli institutions that support the ‘zionist military-industrial-academic complex’.

This was the second teach-in organised by PSR on campus Woudestein. Both events saw a noticeable number of EUR’s security personnel who closely monitored and restricted the photographic documentation of the gathering. “We are not necessarily scared, but we are shocked about how the security often chooses to stand against its own students”, the sociology master student says.

However, Aki Negate, Progressive Student Party member and Psychology student, reminds that such a stance from EUR is not new. “The university itself hasn’t allowed similar spaces in the past, for example, when it sent people from PSR away from campus when they were having a vigil for the Palestinian journalist that was killed”, an event that took place in May of this year.


Curious students on their way to class stop and listen in to one of the speakers discussing the power of social media in spreading awareness. Others mouth an ‘oh!’ and don’t make it past the screen door, turning back around. Whichever the case, Malakye Outerbridge, student of Management of International Social Challenges and Philosophy, reflects on the importance of these teach-ins. “The activist community is a very closed community. So showing up is not just an act of support and solidarity with the people of Palestine, but it also serves as a way to build community with Rotterdam and the university.”

The University of Amsterdam, Leiden University and Utrecht University are among the participating universities in the walk out. The EUR action was coordinated by PSR and backed by the PSP and Erasmus School of Colour.