May 7, 2024 - News

Police clear University of Chicago encampment

Photo of an encampment and tents on a campus quad

Makeshift fortification surrounds a pro-Palestinian encampment in the Main Quadrangle on the University of Chicago campus on Monday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

University of Chicago police cleared the pro-Palestinian encampment early Tuesday morning, removing tents and debris from the main quad.

Why it matters: The Hyde Park university is the first in Chicago to have police raid a campus protest encampment.

  • The move follows a stressful weekend in Chicago, where 68 protesters near the School of the Art Institute were arrested, and skirmishes between protesters and counter-protesters at DePaul led to arrests and two injuries.

Catch up quick: A few days ago, after negotiations between protesters and the university stalled, president Paul Alivisatos suggested it was time to intervene.

What they're saying: "The University remains a place where dissenting voices have many avenues to express themselves, but we cannot enable an environment where the expression of some dominates and disrupts the healthy functioning of the community for the rest," Alivisatos said in a statement.

The other side: A group of professors held a press conference Monday to say the encampment was "peaceful and non-disruptive" on campus.

The latest: After campus police cleared the quad, they put up plastic barriers. Protestors pushed and shoved against the barriers and police, per multiple media reports.

  • A short time after, police reportedly took down the barriers and some protesters returned to the quad, while others demonstrated in front of the administration building.
  • The Chicago Coalition of Justice in Palestine sent a message on social media early this morning telling protesters police were coming.

Zoom out: Northwestern University negotiated successfully with protesters, ending their encampment early. This led to counter-protesters calling for president Michael Schill to resign.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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