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WorldPolice break up pro-Palestinian camp at Chicago's DePaul University


Police break up pro-Palestinian camp at Chicago’s DePaul University


In Chicago, police initiated the removal of a pro-Palestinian camp from DePaul University on Thursday morning, in response to a directive from the school’s president that students would face arrest if they did not leave.

Police and workers wearing yellow vests removed tents and camping gear from the student camp, and there were yellow squares of dead or dying grass left behind. Front-loading machines were used to take out the camping gear.

Just opposite to where the camp was set up on the grassy area at DePaul’s campus called “The Quad,” a small group of protesters stood on the sidewalk in front of a gas station. They clapped their hands together while a leader spoke to them through a bullhorn.

Jon Hein, head of patrol for Chicago Police Department, said that all the protesters at the camp left the area on their own when the police came early Thursday.

“There were no fights and no one tried to stop us,” he said during a press conference. As we got closer, everyone chose to leave the place on their own.

Hein said that two young people, a man and a woman, were arrested outside the camp for blocking traffic.

The decision to empty the campus happened just a few days after the president of the school said that the safety of the public was in danger.

The university said on Saturday that they could not agree with the protestors, so it’s not clear what will happen to their camp on the Chicago campus. Most of DePaul’s graduation events will take place on the weekend of June 15-16.

DePaul’s President and Provost said they think students wanted to protest peacefully, but the way the protests were handled created safety problems for the community.

Manuel said in a statement sent on Thursday that they couldn’t resolve their differences with DePaul Divestment Coalition after 17 days of trying.

“Our public safety office and Chicago Police are now taking down the camp,” he said. “Everyone in the camp can leave without getting in trouble. ”

He said that since the camp started, the situation has been getting worse with fights and people who are not from our group making threats of violence.

Many college students across different campuses built camps to ask their schools to not be connected to Israel and the businesses that support it. They did this to show their opposition to Israel’s actions in the war with Hamas. The protests started as the schools were finishing their spring classes and are now having graduation ceremonies.

Some students and teachers were held by the police on Wednesday after they removed a camp and protesters supporting Palestine briefly took control of a lecture hall at the University of California, Irvine. The police came when protesters blocked the entrance to the building with a barrier and demanded the university stop investing in Israel. The police said that people were not allowed to gather, so they made them leave the building and arrested some of them.

There was a lot of tension at DePaul last weekend when people who disagreed with a protest showed up on campus in Lincoln Park. The police had to get involved.

The DePaul Divestment Coalition, made up of students, want the university to stop investing in Israel. They started camping out on April 30. The group said that university officials left the discussion and tried to make students sign an agreement. This was reported in a statement by a student on Saturday.

Henna Ayesh, a Palestinian student at DePaul and part of the Coalition, said she doesn’t want her tuition money to support her family’s pain.

DePaul is located in the northern part of the city. Police cleared out a camp at the University of Chicago last week.

The Associated Press found that there have been at least 77 times since April 18 when people were arrested at protests on college campuses across the US. A total of 2,900 people have been arrested at 58 different colleges and universities. The numbers are from information given by AP, universities, and law enforcement.

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