Statement Issued by Freie Universität Berlin Regarding Planned Protest Camp on Dahlem Campus

A week-long student protest camp in Dahlem has been registered with the police in Berlin. Taking multiple current issues as the main points of contention, the camp is scheduled to take place from Thursday, June 20 at 4:00 p.m. until Thursday, June 27, and will be located on a grassy area by Freie Universität Berlin’s Henry Ford Building. Freie Universität Berlin is not associated with organizing the protest camp, nor has it granted approval for it to take place. Due to the planned location being a publicly accessible area, it may be used for public assembly in line with Berlin’s Freedom of Assembly Act (Versammlungsfreih­eitsgesetz). Freie Universität Berlin is in contact with the police. The top priority is to avoid disruption to university operations at Freie Universität Berlin and ensure that teaching and research can continue as normal.

"We are confident that the police will take the proper measures to verify that the camp is solely used for the purposes of peaceful freedom of expression," said president of Freie Universität Berlin Professor Günter M. Ziegler. "We draw the line at antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination, as well as violence, calls to violence, and property damage. We will respond to any of these behaviors by filing criminal charges.

"Over the past few months, Freie Universität Berlin has been a place for intense dialogue, with multiple events dedicated to discussing conflicts in Israel, Gaza, and the Middle East from different perspectives. At Freie Universität Berlin, conflicts and wars are important elements of academic discourse in our research and teaching, as are debates surrounding how they arise, their dynamics, and the effects these have on politics and society. We at Freie Universität Berlin advocate for the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech in the context of demonstrations and peaceful protests. We are a university that thrives on dialogue and debate. We foster the kind of open and democratic culture required to discuss a wide range of topics, including controversial and difficult ones."

The Latin words veritas, justitia, and libertas, which frame the seal of Freie Universität Berlin, stand for the values that have defined the academic ethos of Freie Universität since its founding in December 1948.