HU-Berlin StuPa: Covers legal costs of university occupiers

On May 22, 2024, Hamas supporters occupied a building at the Humboldt University in Berlin. They vandalized the building and marked the offices of undesirable employees with the red triangle. Hamas uses this symbol to mark people who are to be murdered in the near future. The press was called the "Jewish press" and the "lying press" and the forbidden slogan "from the river to the sea - Palestine will be free" was shouted. All of this had already become public knowledge during the course of the day. 

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ISW building of Humboldt University during the occupation

Nevertheless, the director of the Humboldt University invited the rioters to stay. This was justified in the university's statement with the words: "As part of a democratic society and a place of education, we stand for respectful dialogue, even on controversial topics."

Since May 22nd, we have been trying to enter into the “respectful dialogue” with the university’s press office as requested above. Unfortunately, our questions have not been answered to date. All that followed was a reference to a general statement, which does not answer the questions.

Granting of legal protection

Yesterday, in the sixth session of the 31st Student Parliament of the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Agenda item 5 "Approval of legal protection for speakers in accordance with Section 8 Paragraph 4 Clause 3 of the Student Body Statutes of the Humboldt University of Berlin" was called for. It was decided that "the student body would cover any legal and consulting costs, court costs and any other costs that might arise in an investigation or court case." This was justified by the fact that speakers had entered the building, which had been occupied by Hamas supporters for more than a day at the time, in order to take part in a discussion event.

Access was blocked to the press, other students and the public. After several calls to leave the building, the police cleared it. Personal details were taken. Professor Wildt stood protectively by the people's side, as he was fleeing from attacks by the police and probably wanted to act as personal protection in case of doubt.

The university’s position raises questions

From beginning to end, this story raises questions. About the neutrality of the university, about knowledge of the situation in Gaza, about the ability to conduct independent research and about the understanding of the rule of law and the executive. The decision to use public money to cover the costs of those involved is now another point in the long list of questionable decisions.