Penn’s interim president warns pro-Palestinian protesters to disband encampment immediately

Jameson calls the vandalization of a statue outside of College Hall with antisemitic graffiti "reprehensible," stating it will be investigated as a hate crime.

This story originally appeared on 6abc

Pro-Palestinian protesters on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania must disband immediately due to several violations, Interim President J. Larry Jameson announced on Friday night.

The group started gathering on Thursday. The protest has since evolved into an encampment near 34th and Walnut on Penn’s campus.

Jameson says the encampment itself violates the university’s facilities policies, along with “credible” reports of harassing and intimidating conduct.

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A statue outside of College Hall was also vandalized with antisemitic graffiti, according to the university.

Jameson called it “reprehensible,” and said that it would be investigated as a hate crime.

The protesters have been informed to disband the encampment immediately.

“Failure to disband the encampment immediately and to adhere to Penn’s policies will result in sanctions consistent with our due process procedures as they apply to students, faculty, and staff,” said Jameson.

The gathering involved students from Penn, Drexel University, Temple University and other organizations who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The groups are demanding peace in Gaza, and that schools reveal any financial ties to Israel. They also want them to cut ties with any business the group believes profits from the Israel-Hamas war.

The group is also calling for student protesters to be granted amnesty from suspension or arrest.

“These universities are always encouraging us, it’s part of academic integrity and authenticity that we sit here and critically think about what’s going on and that’s what we’re doing,” said Nada Abausi, a student organizer.

Police could be seen near the Penn encampment when the protest began Thursday.

However, it has not been peaceful on other campuses across the country.

More than 90 students were arrested without incident on the campus of the University of Southern California Wednesday night.

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In Boston, 108 protesters were taken into custody, and four police officers were injured when protests turned violent at Emerson College.

Locally, two graduate students at Princeton University in New Jersey were arrested and barred from campus after several dozen people gathered Thursday morning, according to school officials.

A small number of the group put up tents, which is a violation of the university’s policy.

After the group was given repeated warnings to leave the area, officials said two graduate students were arrested for trespassing.

Subsequently, all the tents were then voluntarily taken down by the protestors, officials said.

The two Princeton students now face a disciplinary process.

Pro-Israel students told Action News that they are serving as a voice for Jewish people who are on the other side of this conflict.

“We are letting them protest for their ideology and we’re going to protest for ours,” said Joseph Hochberg.

Earlier this week, a similar protest was held at Swarthmore College in Delaware County.

“We remain open and willing to explore more realistic ways to find common ground and bring this latest demonstration to a peaceful conclusion,” the college said in a statement.

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