Apr 29, 2024 - News

Case Western Reserve University allows pro-Palestine students to camp overnight

A sign reading "Our Tuition Funds Genocide" in red paint

Hand-painted signs adorned the gates around the Kelvin Smith Library at Case. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

Case Western Reserve University students, staff and faculty will be permitted to camp overnight outside the Kelvin Smith Library in a continuation of a pro-Palestine demonstration that began with police confrontations Monday morning.

Why it matters: Event organizers regarded the administration's decision to allow them to stay a victory, after university president Eric Kaler had said the protest would only be permitted from 8am-8pm.

  • Earlier in the day, university police had confiscated tents and detained more than 20 students, who were later released.

State of play: By 7:30pm Monday, nearly 200 students and community allies had gathered on the Kelvin Smith Oval, intermittently chanting for a free Palestine and calling on the university to divest from companies that support Israel's military.

  • The university agreed around that time to allow CWRU members to camp overnight. Tents would be permitted, provided they were taken down by 7:30am.
  • By 8pm, those who wished to stay were waiting in line for wrist bands and were allowed to re-enter the gated Oval.
  • All others were invited to come back at 8am Tuesday.

What they're saying: "Open discourse and the free exchange of ideas are hallmarks of higher education — and they are central to all that we do at Case Western Reserve," Kaler wrote in a statement Monday.

  • "Across classrooms and common spaces, lecture halls and laboratories, and everywhere in between, challenges to the status quo are what make universities — especially ours — such powerful learning environments."

The other side: "Kaler, Kaler, you can't hide," students chanted into the evening.

  • "We charge you with genocide."

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