French police forcefully disbanded a student protest demanding an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza at the historic Sorbonne University in Paris on Monday, April 29. 



The demonstration, which saw around 50 students staging a sit-in, was abruptly ended as law enforcement officers evacuated protesters who had erected tents within the university premises.


According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist present at the scene, the evacuation unfolded with a level of intensity, with some participants reportedly being dragged on the ground. 


Despite the forceful dispersal, no arrests were made, as confirmed by one of the protesting students, Rémi, who preferred not to disclose his full name for security reasons.



The protest, which caused the cancellation of exams due to the occupation of the university’s courtyard and hallway with over 20 tents, marked a significant escalation in student activism in France. 


Educational authorities confirmed the disruption, leading to the closure of the university for the remainder of the day, citing restricted access since noon.


Beyond the confines of the Sorbonne, approximately 150 individuals congregated outside the campus, amplifying their solidarity with Gaza through chants such as “Gaza, Sorbonne is with you” and “Israel, murderer” while brandishing a massive Palestinian flag. 


Drawing inspiration from similar demonstrations at prestigious American institutions like Harvard and Columbia, Sorbonne student and activist Lorelia Frejo emphasized the global nature of the protest.


This incident follows a series of similar demonstrations at Sciences Po Paris, another renowned French university, where police intervention occurred just days prior. 


Despite initial attempts to disperse the protest, demonstrators remained steadfast, prompting university authorities to engage in dialogue regarding the right to protest.


The standoff between students and authorities underscores the deep-seated concerns surrounding the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the broader implications for international solidarity movements. 


While the right to protest is enshrined in democratic societies, the manner in which such demonstrations are managed continues to be a subject of contention.


As tensions persist both locally and globally regarding the situation in Gaza, the actions taken by French authorities at the Sorbonne exemplify the complexities inherent in balancing freedom of expression with public order and safety. 


With students vowing to continue their activism in support of Palestine, the fallout from this incident is likely to reverberate across France’s academic landscape, igniting further debate on the role of universities in fostering political engagement and social justice activism.


This article was created using automation and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members


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