The police have evacuated the occupied Humboldt University in Berlin. Pro-Palestinian activists had barricaded themselves in the rooms.

After the occupation of a building at the Humboldt University in Berlin by pro-Palestinian activists, the police announced the evacuation on Thursday evening. The emergency services are “in the occupied institute to get an overview,” the Berlin police explained in the online service  

According to their own statements, the police had previously received confirmation from Humboldt University to vacate the occupied institute. “All people will be approached, escorted out of the building and subjected to an identity check,” it said.  

A group of activists had already left the building. They were accompanied by members of the university management, as can be seen in videos from participants on the Internet. This was preceded by further discussions between the university management and the demonstrators.

According to the police, there was, among other things, damage to property in the occupied institute building. In addition, anti-Semitic and inflammatory statements were made by demonstrators. 

University President Julia von Blumenthal initially tolerated the occupation, but called for it to end by Thursday at 6 p.m. at the latest. The activists had occupied the building since Wednesday. In connection with the protest, 23 pro-Palestinian demonstrators were temporarily arrested and 25 criminal investigations were opened on the first day of the occupation, according to police.

There was some strong criticism of the behavior of Blumenthals and the university management as a whole on Thursday. Universities are “not lawless spaces for anti-Semites and terror sympathizers,” said Berlin’s Governing Mayor Kai Wegner (CDU). The protests are directed against the Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip, but also against the Israeli state as a whole.

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