Manchester students protest University’s ‘arms link to Israel’

University of Manchester students took to the city’s streets to protest what they say is an arms link to Israel, something which the University denies.

In a Facebook post, the protest organisers said the University of Manchester was “complicit in the current genocide in Gaza” because of Graphene technology that it researches, which has been used in the energy, construction, health and electronics sectors.

Graphene is also used in the arms trade, and protesters say that these weapons have been used by the Israeli government against people in Palestine.

They condemned the use of Nanene, a material developed by Manchester researchers, which they say is being purchased by Israel Aerospace Industries for use in drones and other destructive weapons.

The University denied this, saying in a statement: “Nanene is also a proprietary material which does not belong to the University of Manchester, nor the University’s IP, or processes”.

Outside the National Graphene Institute, where part of the protest took place, one protester said: “Graphene could solve so many problems for us, but we know where the money is, and it comes from the arms trade”.

They spoke about Versarien, which they say has “one of the main contracts” with the National Graphene Institute, and condemned the company’s selling of Nanene-based technologies to Israeli Aerospace Industries.

However, the University issued a strong denial of any involvement, saying: “The University hasn’t had any graphene collaborations with Israel Aerospace Industries”.

Despite the university’s denials, protesters say that the demonstrations will continue every Wednesday until they see change.

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