UChicago pro-Palestinian demonstrators call end of encampment a 'violent raid' by campus police

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Thursday, May 9, 2024
U of C pro-Palestinian protestors call end of encampment 'violent raid'
On Thursday, University of Chicago pro-Palestinian demonstrators said campus police were "violent" while clearing the quad encampment.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shared their perspective Thursday, after University of Chicago campus police cleared their encampment on school grounds.

ABC7 Chicago is now streaming 24/7. Click here to watch

On Tuesday, just before 5 a.m., police cleared the encampment that had been set up in the school's quad for nine days.

UChicago United for Palestine, a student coalition, is calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and demanding that the university divest from any Israeli institutions.

Students said they were pushed and shoved by campus police as tents were removed on Tuesday, calling it a "cowardly" and "traumatizing" raid.

"I was walking on the side of the quad when a cop in riot gear threw me to the ground," student Katja said on Thursday. "UCPD in riot gear, grabbing, shoving and hitting people. How is any of this without incident?"

I-TEAM | Demonstrators allege 'excessive force' used to clear encampments; law enforcement on alert: records

The president of the University of Chicago said he made the decision to have the encampment removed, citing increasing safety concerns.

He also said protests were interfering with free expression and learning.

Meanwhile, the encampment inside the quad at DePaul University in Lincoln Park continues to grow.

DePaul's president said the dialogue with protestors continues, but he's also emphasized the need for a timely resolution.

READ ALSO | Police clear University of Chicago pro-Palestinian encampment

Leaders with the Jewish United Fund are demanding the university take action.

"The universities have sufficient policies to cover these violations of campus rules," Jewish United Fund's Executive Vice President Jay Tcath said. "They don't have the sufficient courage to enforce them; that is coming at the expense of Jewish student's safety."