College Tensions Reignite with Arrests at Penn, Chicago

Police removed protesters who were attempting to occupy buildings at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Chicago Friday night, as tensions over the Israel-Hamas war once again flared up across college campuses.

Bloomberg
Updated19 May 2024
College Tensions Reignite with Arrests at Penn, Chicago
College Tensions Reignite with Arrests at Penn, Chicago

(Bloomberg) -- Police removed protesters who were attempting to occupy buildings at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Chicago Friday night, as tensions over the Israel-Hamas war once again flared up across college campuses.  

A group of protesters tried to enter the Fisher-Bennett Hall on Penn’s campus, the university said in a statement. Nineteen people, including six Penn students, were taken into custody, and seven are facing felony charges. 

Police recovered lock-picking tools and homemade metal shields fashioned from oil drums, as well as objects used to barricade and block entrances. “Penn remains focused on maintaining the safety and security of our campus,” a university spokesperson said. 

At the University of Chicago, protesters briefly took over a building on campus Friday. 

“UCPD officers were able to enter the building and the protesters inside the building exited,” university spokesperson Gerald McSwiggan said in a statement. 

The incidents Friday come as both Penn and Chicago hold several events on campus for Alumni Weekend, with Penn’s commencement scheduled to take place on Monday. Police had previously cleared encampments on both campuses earlier this month. 

Universities across the country have been grappling with weeks of protests as some students demanded college endowments divest from entities relating to Israel due to its continued military operation on Gaza. Ahead of the summer break, some colleges have called in police to remove demonstrators, while other institutions reached deals to consider the students’ pleas.

Read More: How Israel-Hamas Protests Engulfed Elite US Colleges: QuickTake

--With assistance from Isis Almeida and Janet Lorin.

(Updates with more details from Penn starting in second paragraph)

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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