UNC Police detains around 30 during Pro-Palestinian encampment break-up at Chapel Hill campus (2024)

9:09 a.m. ET, April 30, 2024

UNCPolicedetains around 30 duringPro-Palestinianencampmentbreak-upat ChapelHillcampus

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

The University of North CarolinaPolicedetainedroughly30people who refused to leave thePro-Palestinianencampmentoncampus, after the school issued a demand to vacatethe area at5:30a.m. on Tuesday, according to an update from the university.

At 6 a.m., the university said campus police"calmly approached the group anddetainedapproximately30people who refused to leave." Protesters thenattempted to block theUNCPolicevehiclesbystanding in front of them and throwing thingsatofficers, the update said.

TheencampmentatPolk Place was cleared in about 45 minutes, according to theUNCupdate, noting that remaining protesters “escalated their tactics" andattempted to “forcibly enter”UNC’s South Buildingbyshoving officers and refusing to comply.

9:44 a.m. ET, April 30, 2024

NYPDcurrently has no plans to enter Columbia campus without an official request

From CNN's Mark Morales

UNCPolicedetains around 30 duringPro-Palestinianencampmentbreak-upat ChapelHillcampus (1)

TheNew York Police Department currently has no plansto enterthe Columbia University campus, a law enforcement official tells CNN, since the University has not yet made an official request.

Overnight, protesters made their wayfrom the West Lawn encampment to Hamilton Hall. Inthelast few hours, there has been some destruction of property on the private campus including a smashed glass door. But in order for NYPD to enterandmake any type of arrest, it needs a complainant.

Theuniversity, as the complainant,would have tocall tothepolice departmentandrequest assistance,but the official said they havenotyet done so.

UNCPolicedetains around 30 duringPro-Palestinianencampmentbreak-upat ChapelHillcampus (2)
8:34 a.m. ET, April 30, 2024

Here’s the latest on the protests at major US universities

From CNN staff

UNCPolicedetains around 30 duringPro-Palestinianencampmentbreak-upat ChapelHillcampus (3)

Pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses have entered their second week – just as many universities prepare for graduation ceremonies in the coming weeks.

Hundreds of students have been arrested by law enforcement on various campuses.

Acentral demandof protesters is for universities to divest from Israel-linked companies that they say are profiting from the war in Gaza.

Here's what you should know:

More arrests and developments:

  • At Columbia University — the epicenter of the protests — at least 200 students have barricaded the entrance to Hamilton Hall, one of the buildings occupied during 1968 student protests, and about a dozen are occupying the building. Overnight, protesters on campus made their wayfrom the West Lawn encampment to Hamilton Hall. Hours earlier, the university announced it hadbegun suspending studentswho refused to leave the encampment before a 2 p.m. Monday deadline.
  • Pro-Palestinian protesters at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina (UNC) are being detained Tuesday morning after the university sent them a demand to vacate their encampment. Video from CNN affiliate WRAL shows police moving in on the encampment, with some people being bound with zip ties. Others were being kept back from the area by a cordon of police.
  • Portland State University (PSU) officials have asked the city's police department to help remove dozens of protesters who they said had broken into and occupied a university library on Monday evening, blocking campus safety officers from entering the building. Between 50 and 75 protesters broke into the library building, said Portland police chief Bob Day. He did not indicate when officers would enter the library to remove the protesters.
  • At least six protesters were arrested at Tulane University Monday. Nine people were also arrested in the evening at the University of Florida campus protests in Gainesville, Florida. Earlier in the day, Texas State Police in riot gear arrested at least six people at the University of Texas in Austin.
  • Officers arrested over 90 people, including 54 students, at a protest encampment on the lawn at Virginia Tech's Graduate Life Center, according to the school. The demonstration began on Friday and progressed over the weekend.

Divestment negotiations:

  • The University of Pennsylvania put "Notice of Trespass" signs surrounding the on-campus encampment Monday morning after negotiations between protest organizers and university leaders over divestment broke down over the weekend.
  • Brown University said it will hear a group of students and faculty members’ “arguments for divestment” in May if the campus’ encampment "is peacefully brought to an end within the next few days and is not replaced with any other encampments or unauthorized protest activity.”

Schools weigh graduation ceremonies:

  • A pair of speakers set to address master's and doctorate graduates of the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education have withdrawn citing the school’s dealings with war protesters and cancellation of valedictorianAsna Tabassum’scommencement speech.
  • Columbia University said it wants “to reassure our community who are trying to make plans that we will indeed hold acommencement.”
7:45 a.m. ET, April 30, 2024

Portland State University asks police to help remove dozens of protesters from its library

From CNN’s Emma Tucker

UNCPolicedetains around 30 duringPro-Palestinianencampmentbreak-upat ChapelHillcampus (4)

Portland State University (PSU) officials have asked the city's police department to help remove dozens of protesters who they said had broken into and occupied a university library on Monday evening, blocking campus safety officers from entering the building.

Between 50 and 75 protesters broke into the library building, said Portland police chief Bob Day. He did not indicate when officers would enter the library to remove the protesters.

Speaking at a press conference Monday evening, Day said the demonstrations had “become a criminal event."

"(The protest) is no longer considered to be a public order or free speech event, and requires a different type of response,” he said.

Speaking at the same press conference, PSU president Ann Cudd said pro-Palestinian protesters had begun to gather at the campus last week and that by Monday morning the encampment had grown, resulting in damage to property and a risk to safety on campus.

After a peaceful protest Monday afternoon, a group “broke into Millar library, the main PSU library, and entered the building. Other protesters remained outside the building, blocking access,” Cudd said.

The university called in the Portland Police Bureau after campus police were unable to enter the library, she added.

“Given the growing health and safety risk to our campus community, and interference with our university operations, this afternoon we, the PSU leaders, asked the protesters to vacate the library portico,” Cudd said.

The university sent out a campus-wide alert around 7:30 p.m. about police activity at Millar Library, telling people to “avoid the area.”

6:53 a.m. ET, April 30, 2024

Police break up pro-Palestinian encampment at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

From CNN’s Dianne Gallagher and Andy Rose

Pro-Palestinian protesters at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina (UNC) are being detained Tuesday morning after the university sent them a demand to vacate their encampment.

Video from CNN affiliate WRAL shows police moving in on the encampment, with some people being bound with zip ties. Others were being kept back from the area by a cordon of police.

UNC-Chapel Hill's interim chancellor Lee Roberts and provost Christopher Clemens said in a statement Tuesday that student protesters must leave their encampment at the Polk Place quadrangle. The statement was acknowledged by UNC Students for Justice in Palestine in a photo posted to Instagram.

UNC said in its statement: “During events in recent weeks, the student demonstrators abided by our policies. That changed Sunday evening when protesters – including outside activists – backtracked on their commitment to comply with these policies, including trespassing into classroom buildings overnight.”

The statement went on to say:

“By 6 a.m. today the protesters assembled in Polk Place must remove all tents, tables, and other items and depart from the area. Failure to follow this order to disperse will result in consequences including possible arrest, suspension from campus and, ultimately, expulsion from the university, which may prevent students from graduating.”
7:06 a.m. ET, April 30, 2024

Campus protesters are calling for divestment. It's happened before

ByCNN's Samantha Delouya

College campuses across the United States have been roiled by pro-Palestinian protests this month, with nearly all demonstrations calling for universities to divest from Israel in some form. So far, universities have refused to yield to those demands.

What would divestment look like?

Put most simply, divestment is the opposite of investment.

Many universities have an endowment, which is donated funds generally invested in stocks, bonds and other financial instruments to help the university earn money.

At Columbia, a group of students want the college to divestits $13.6 billion endowment from any company linked to Israel, including Microsoft and Amazon. Protesters at other schools, such as Cornell and Yale, want their universities to stop investing in weapons manufacturers.

What are university officials saying?

On Monday, Columbia’s administration reiterated that it would not divest from Israel. Last week, the University of California also said divestment wouldn’t happen.

But some colleges are willing to talk with protesters.

Christina Paxson, president of Brown University, sent a letter to demonstrators saying she would agree to hear a divestment proposal if the school’s encampment were disbanded, according to the student-run newspaper, theBrown Daily Herald.

They've been here before.

Columbia students protesting South Africa's apartheid racial segregation policy in the 1980s called on the school to severe its financial ties with companies doing business in the country.

Columbia eventually voted to sell the majority of its stock in South Africa-connected companies. Other colleges followed suit.

Read more here.

12:28 a.m. ET, May 1, 2024

Students hang "Intifada" banner from Hamilton Hall

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

UNCPolicedetains around 30 duringPro-Palestinianencampmentbreak-upat ChapelHillcampus (5)

Student protesters occupying Hamilton Hall at Columbia University have displayed banners from a window reading "Intifada," the Arabic word for an uprising, and "Hind's Hall," according to video obtained by CNN.

A student group explained in a statement that “Hind’s Hall” was in honor of Hind Rajab, a five-year-old girl from Gaza. Rajab and her relatives were found dead in January after being trapped in a car that came under Israeli fire, CNN reported.

Outside Hamilton Hall early Tuesday, students were chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “Palestine will live forever,”the video shows.

According to the Columbia Spectator, dozens of student protesters have moved metal gates to barricade the doors to Hamilton Hall, blocking entrances with wooden tablesand zip-tying doors shut.

This post has been updated to correct the month Rajab was found dead.

6:24 a.m. ET, April 30, 2024

Columbia University advises people to avoid its Morningside Heights campus if possible

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

UNCPolicedetains around 30 duringPro-Palestinianencampmentbreak-upat ChapelHillcampus (6)

Columbia University officials are advising "members of the University community" to avoid going to the Morningside campus if possible on Tuesday in light of the protesters occupying Hamilton Hall, accordingto a campus alert from Columbia Public Safety.

"Essential personnel should report to work according to university policy. Please check with your supervisor if you have any questions. Be aware that access to campus and other campus buildings may be restricted," the alert said.

Columbia's Morningside Heights campusis located at Broadway and 116th Street in Manhattan and is the main campus for the university.

5:51 a.m. ET, April 30, 2024

White House won't say if campus protesters should face disciplinary action

From CNN's DJ Judd and Haley Talbot

UNCPolicedetains around 30 duringPro-Palestinianencampmentbreak-upat ChapelHillcampus (7)

The White House declined Monday to say if President Joe Biden believes that demonstrators who’ve camped out on college campuses across the country to protest the war in Gaza should face disciplinary action.

“These are institutions – some of them are private, some of them are public – and it is up to their leadership, university leadership and colleges, to make that decision,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a daily press briefing.

Jean-Pierre reiterated the president’s support for the right to peacefully protest while criticizing antisemitic rhetoric and calls for violence.

She also acknowledged the anguish felt by many Americans as the civilian death toll in Gaza continues to rise: “We get that it is a painful moment that Americans are dealing with, and free expression has to be done within the law.”

However, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson indicated Friday that he would consider pulling federal funding to college campuses roiled by protests.

“We're looking at very seriously reducing or eliminating any federal funds at all to campuses who cannot maintain basic safety and security of Jewish students,” the lawmaker said in an interview with Salem news program “This Week on the Hill.”
UNC Police detains around 30 during Pro-Palestinian encampment break-up at Chapel Hill campus (2024)
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