Apr 26, 2024 - News

Gaza protests on campus

A tent with a sign reading "No justice, no peace."

George Washington University students camp out on campus to demand that their university divest from Israel and call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Photo: Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu via Getty Images

D.C. college students protesting the war in Gaza are demanding action from their institutions amid a larger reckoning on campuses nationwide.

The big picture: U.S. colleges have become flashpoints for pro-Palestinian protests since the Israel-Hamas war began last October, write Axios' Sareen Habeshian, Rebecca Falconer, and Jacob Knutson.

Area demonstrations follow the arrests of protesters at schools like Columbia University, the University of Texas in Austin, Emerson College, and the University of Southern California since last week.

Driving the news: Students and faculty from several DMV universities established an encampment at George Washington University (GW) yesterday to protest the war in Gaza.

State of play: Local student protesters are demanding a Gaza ceasefire and that their schools divest from Israel-connected companies.

  • The GW encampment was planned by a collection of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) groups from GW, Georgetown, American, Howard University, George Mason University, University of Maryland, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and Gallaudet.

Context: GW has seen steady protests since last fall when SJP projected pro-Palestinian messages on a school library, after which the group was suspended.

  • GW students have also led vigils in support of Israel and those taken hostage by Hamas.

Meanwhile, the ACLU of DC filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jackson-Reed High School's Arab Student Union Wednesday, alleging that the school's administration violated the club's First Amendment rights.

What's ahead: The groundswell of activism in the nation's capital is colliding with a weekend of festivities surrounding Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner.

  • Organizers expect several hundred people to rally in Kalorama Park, two blocks away from the Washington Hilton, where President Biden will be attending the dinner, NBC News reports.
  • A group of Palestinian journalists have urged reporters to "publicly boycott" the dinner "as an act of solidarity."

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