Green MP from Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas visited the student encampment at the university today. Speaking with The Badger, she said,

 “I support the students’ peaceful encampments. I think right across both the UK and Europe, and across the United States, we’re seeing students being at the forefront of the campaign for a ceasefire and for a peaceful and urgent settlement to the situation in Palestine and Gaza, in particular. So I’m very happy to be here to offer solidarity; we brought some food.”

She emphasised the need for an immediate ceasefire. “I think that the UK Government is complicit in war crimes by continuing to arm the Israeli government. And so we are arguing – the Green Party is arguing – very strongly for an end to arms licences for those arms exports. We think that there are certain people within the Israeli government who should be sanctioned as well. And we would want to see, you know, a far stronger focus on stopping Israel being about to enter Rafah, and we know what that would mean, it would mean a genocide. And that’s certainly what the international court said. It said that there’s a plausible chance of genocide.”

“Many people have said that if the Israeli forces go into Rafah, it is hard to see how that could happen in a way that didn’t lead to the deaths of thousands of Palestinians, innocent Palestinians. So that action of Israel is disproportionate, it’s wrong, and I’m doing everything I can in Parliament to try to stop it. “

Answering a question about what The Green Party will do for the situation in Gaza during the upcoming general elections, she said,

“I think we would be arguing as strongly as we possibly can for that ceasefire. We want, of course, for the hostages to be freed. But we think the best way of achieving that is through a ceasefire. We would want to end arms sales immediately. I mean, we need that to happen before the general election, but certainly, our policy would be for that to happen.”

“I think there is a role for boycotts and sanctions on a targeted basis. We need to use what peaceful measures that we can to try to stop what looks like a very likely genocide unravelling right now in Gaza .”

Talking about the MP’s visit to the encampment, a representative from the encampment said, 

“We would like to say that we are very happy that she came to talk to us and there was an open dialogue. And we were able to have a really great conversation about what’s going on right now in Palestine, in Gaza, and also the West Bank. She has fully supported the fact that there should be no sales of arms to Israel. She has also said that she would write a letter to our Vice Chancellor asking to defund any company’s investments related to Israel”.

“We are receiving support from her and her party; we think this is great. We might not have the same points and ideologies in everything regarding the genocide. But the main thing we agree on is that the Palestinian people should be free. The violence that’s inflicted upon them should end as fast as possible. There should be an immediate ceasefire.” 

The University of Sussex students started an encampment this week at the library square for Palestine. The protesting students have refused to leave till their demands are fulfilled.

Image taken by Zeeshan Tirmizi

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