Pro-Palestinian UW encampment doubles by second day

Apr 30, 2024, 11:18 PM | Updated: May 1, 2024, 12:02 pm

It is day two of the pro-Palestinian protest and encampment on the University of Washington (UW) campus. On Monday, UW students with the Progressive Student Union set up the encampment. They said they would remain at the encampment until their demands were met.

“We want the University of Washington to materially divest from Israel, cut ties with Boeing, and for the university to end the repression of pro-Palestinian staff, students and faculty,” Matthieu Chabaud said.

Day 1: Pro-Palestinian encampment on UW campus continues to grow

The encampment doubled in size overnight to 12 tents.

There are fewer students at the encampment but protesters said the support from passers-by is palpable.

“The community support that we see each day, continues to inspire me. Even if people can’t stick around, they show a lot of support in other ways,” Chabaud said.

While encampments at other universities have turned violent, the demonstration at UW has remained peaceful.

Passersby said they support the students’ rights to protest.

“They’re not harming anybody. They’re not blocking anything. Everybody has a First Amendment right to protest, and as long as they continue to do so peacefully, I think they should be allowed to do so,” said a woman who wanted anonymity.

During the demonstration Tuesday, protesters learned that the Biden Administration is considering bringing some Palestinians from Gaza to the United States through Egypt. To qualify they must have family members here with legal status.

Protesters call it a good start.

“If he’s just considering that now, then he needs to stop considering. He needs to do it. But, I think for those who have seen their family members killed, it’s significantly too late. As long as the United States continues to supply the bombs that are dropped on Gaza, saying that we’re going to try to help out some people is not enough, quite frankly,” Chabaud said.

The UW administration released a statement that reads: “We will continue to monitor the situation and respond as appropriate to maintain a safe and secure environment for our campus community,” UW spokesperson Victor Balta stated.

You can read more of James Lynch’s stories here. Follow James on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

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