BAE Systems stall row in Edinburgh University

By Stephanie Brickman, October 14, 2010

A group of student demonstrators failed to shut down a careers fair at Edinburgh University last week. The group of 12 assembled in front of a stall run by BAE Systems, a company that develops defence and security systems and employs 100,000 people.

The group, calling themselves Students for Justice in Palestine, yelled slogans including "Israel kills, BAE sells", before pretending to be dead in front of the stall. Police were called and the group was dispersed peacefully.

While protests against BAE Systems have been commonplace at the university for a decade, the link with the Israeli-Palestinian situation is new.

Edinburgh J-Soc member, Mihail Bogomolnijs, a third year mechanical and electrical engineering student, was at the fair. He did not feel the students were antisemitic, but nonetheless felt concern. "These guys were behaving unreasonably and their actions could grow into antisemitism, it would be the next step. If the students want to protest, I'm sure BAE systems isn't the only one. Who supplies weapons to the Palestinians?"

In response, a representative for SJP, who refused to give his name, said: "Hamas' weapons are all home-made and do very little damage. We support the Palestinian people but we don't take a stance on individual parties."

Last updated: 4:17pm, October 14 2010