Police Dismantle Pro-Palestinian Encampment at DePaul University

By Hamodia Staff

The shadows of two pedestrians cross in front of pro-Palestinian protest signs during a demonstration on the campus of DePaul University, April 30, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Police in Chicago began dismantling a pro-Palestinian encampment at DePaul University Thursday morning, shortly after the university’s president warned students to vacate the area or face arrest.

Officers, accompanied by workers in yellow vests, cleared out tents and camping gear from the student encampment, leaving behind patches of dead or dying grass where the tents had been pitched. Front-loaders were employed to remove the remaining equipment.

Just across the street from the encampment, a small group of protesters gathered along the sidewalk, clapping their hands in unison while a leader addressed them through a bullhorn.

The decision to clear the campus came after concerns were raised about public safety, less than a week after the university’s president expressed those worries.

Last weekend, DePaul University announced an “impasse” with the protesters, casting uncertainty over the fate of the encampment on the Chicago campus. Most of the university’s commencement ceremonies are scheduled for the June 15-16 weekend.

In a joint statement, DePaul President Robert Manuel and Provost Salma Ghanem acknowledged the students’ intention to protest peacefully but cited escalating public safety issues.

Efforts to reconcile the differences with the DePaul Divestment Coalition over the past 17 days proved unsuccessful, according to Manuel. The university’s Office of Public Safety, along with the Chicago Police, began dismantling the encampment, offering every individual inside the opportunity to leave without facing arrest.

The encampment, established by the student-led DePaul Divestment Coalition on April 30, aimed to push the university to divest from Israel. The group accused university officials of abandoning negotiations and pressuring students to sign agreements.

Last week, a similar encampment at the University of Chicago on the city’s South Side was also removed by police.

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