KIRO NEWSRADIO

‘I’m here as a Jewish person:’ UW pro-Palestinian encampment expands to 60 tents

May 2, 2024, 5:32 PM | Updated: 5:50 pm

Photo: It is the fourth day of the pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Washington....

It is the fourth day of the pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Washington. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

It is the fourth day of the pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Washington (UW). There were half a dozen tents on Monday. That number grew to 60 and now there are over 100 students.

The UW Progressive Student Union started the encampment. They are now joined by students with the UW United Front for Palestinian Liberation. They call it a united encampment.

“We’re to support the same cause. We’re all here as one united group, supporting each other. We’re here to demand that UW cut all material and academic ties with Israel. That we cut all ties with Boeing, and protect all pro-Palestinian students, workers, and faculty,” organizer Oviya Krishnan said.

Past coverage: Pro-Palestinian UW encampment doubles by second day

Wednesday morning was a quiet one at the encampment. There was no bullhorn, no chanting and students came and went as their class schedules dictated.

However, passers-by noticed there were piles of wooden pallets at the camp.

Some fear demonstrators might use them to re-enforce the encampment if an escalation happens. Organizers insist their movement is strictly business.

Photo: Passers-by noticed piles of wooden pallets at a pro-Palestinian encampment on the UW campus.

Passers-by noticed piles of wooden pallets at a pro-Palestinian encampment on the UW campus. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

“We don’t have any plans for escalation. We have a divestment group working very strongly together to put together our divestment resolution in front of the Board of Regents at the University of Washington,” Krishnan said.

Opponents call the encampment anti-semitic. One demonstrator took issue with that. His name is Joe and he’s a member of the UW Jewish Voices for Peace AND the UW United Front for Palestinian Liberation. I asked him why he was at the encampment.

“My family history teaches me something about the importance of not being complicit in a genocide. And I’m here as a Jewish person saying that the University of Washington needs to do more to end this complicity and genocide,” Joe said.

Organizers said they will remain at the encampment until their demands are met.

The united encampment seems ready for a long stay. There are two food pantries, with cases of bottled water and plenty to eat. It even has medical supplies and a library.

Photo: The united pro-Palestinian encampment seems ready for a long stay. There are two food pantries, with cases of bottled water and plenty to eat. It even has medical supplies and a library.

The united pro-Palestinian encampment seems ready for a long stay. There are two food pantries, with cases of bottled water and plenty to eat. It even has medical supplies and a library. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

The university seems to be taking a wait-and-see approach.

“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 said in a written statement to KIRO Newsradio.

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

KIRO Newsradio

Image: Mount Rainier can be seen from Eatonville near Mount Rainier National Park....

Micki Gamez

Headed to Mount Rainier National Park for the weekend? You may not get in

Mount Rainier and the national park there have seen a surge in popularity, which makes it a hot spot for the holiday weekend.

6 hours ago

Image: Young Fresh Fellows' co-founder Scott McCaughey (left) and drummer John Perrin stand in the ...

Feliks Banel

Young Fresh Fellows celebrate 40 years since ‘Fabulous’ vinyl debut

The Young Fresh Fellows are marking the 40th anniversary, and new remix reissue, of their album "Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest."

7 hours ago

memorial day...

Ted Buehner and Micki Gamez

Memorial Day Weekend gearing up to be one of region’s biggest travel days

AAA estimates 43.8 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend – approaching 2005’s record of 44 million travelers.

17 hours ago

Image: Walter Cronkite attends the International Radio And Television Society Foundation's 2004 Gol...

Matt Markovich

Markovich: What would ‘the most trusted man in America’ think of AI, ‘news’ now?

What would Walter Cronkite think of artificial intelligence in our world of opinionated "news" outlets (and that's news in quotes)?

19 hours ago

Image: A sign for Frank Love Elementary School in Bothell can be seen in a fence at the school....

James Lynch and Sam Campbell

Alleged stalker tried to kidnap teen in front of her parents in Bothell, documents state

Court documents say a girl, 17, was standing with her parents outside an elementary school, when Fernando Rojas allegedly grabbed the teen.

20 hours ago

Image: Seattle Chief of Police Adrian Diaz, left, and Seattle Police Department Captain Eric Greeni...

Matt Markovich

‘Discriminatory practices’: Seattle police captain sues city, Chief Adrian Diaz

A longtime Seattle Police Department captain filed a discrimination lawsuit Monday against the city of Seattle and Chief Adrian Diaz.

1 day ago

‘I’m here as a Jewish person:’ UW pro-Palestinian encampment expands to 60 tents