LSE students continue Gaza protest

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More than 40 students were continuing their sit-in at the London School of Economics today in protest at the conflict in Gaza.

A rally was due to take place this afternoon attended by veteran politician Tony Benn and anti-war campaigner Lindsey German.

The students are demanding that LSE director Howard Davies issues a statement condemning Israeli violence on Gaza.

The protest began last night when a group of students entered the LSE's Old Theatre in central London and occupied the stage.

In a statement the students said: "LSE is an institution founded on the Fabian values that were the precursor of the human rights agenda of modern politics.

"LSE must restate those values and condemn state criminality. It is not a matter of politics, it is a matter of humanity."

A university spokesman said a "small group" of students were staging a "limited occupation" and lectures were continuing as normal.

He said: "The students have presented six demands to the school, all of which relate to the conflict in Gaza. The school has sent a formal response to these demands."

In a letter replying to the demands, Mr Davies said the school's council had reiterated its position that the school "will not take a position" on the conflict.

He expressed his concerns at the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The LSE was founded in 1895 by Fabian socialists including Beatrice and Sidney Webb and the playwright George Bernard Shaw.

Among its former students are Cabinet Minister Ed Miliband and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who dropped out to pursue his music career.