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The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

Protestors establish pro-Palestinian encampment at UC San Diego

Protestors+establish+pro-Palestinian+encampment+at+UC+San+Diego

Today, May 1 at 11:40 a.m., a group of UC San Diego students and community members gathered on the green across from Geisel Library to set up an encampment in response to the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza and the UC’s failure to divest funds from and condemn Israel. 

The encampment consists of over 20 tents spread out across the green, surrounded by a barrier made up of tarp and wood. Inside, protesters have set up designated food, water, medical, trash, and recycling stations. Hung up on trees and tents around the camp are signs with demands and words of support for the greater movement, including “Free Palestine,” “Stop Arming Israel,” and “UCSD Faculty Supporting Ceasefire.” 

The encampment follows over 100 others set up at universities across the country, including UCLA, Columbia University, Cal Poly Humboldt, and UT Austin.

Approximately 30 minutes after protestors pitched the first tents, the UC Police Department arrived on the scene and have remained onsite since. Administrators have also been present near the camp.

In an Instagram post announcing the encampment, Students for Justice in Palestine at UCSD released a statement calling on the greater San Diego community to join them alongside their demands. 

“There is no ‘time, place, or manner’ while Israel continues to escalate its genocidal assault on the 1.4 million Palestinians packed in Rafah and its surrounding makeshift tent cities,” the statement read. “Now, more than ever before, we must rise together in solidarity to demand an end to this U.S.-backed genocide, and UCSD’s complicity in human rights abuses and war crimes against the Palestinian people.”  

Organizers published a set of four demands. The first, “Break the Silence,” calls for UCSD to condemn the genocide and call for a ceasefire. The second urges amnesty for all involved in the encampment, while the third asks UCSD to break all ties with Israel-affiliated organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense, any private defense contractors, and companies named complicit in the BDS movement. The final demand calls UCSD to “Divest from Death,” or divest all of their financial holdings from Israel-related entities. 

SJP at UCSD also posted a program schedule with events including prayers, workshops, and meals taking place throughout the day. 

At 2:44 p.m., Chancellor Pradeep Khosla released a message to all students, staff, and campus employees addressing the encampment. While emphasizing UCSD students’ right to peacefully protest, the message noted that the activity “is in violation of campus policy, which prohibits unauthorized encampments.” The message also stated that “police and security teams are onsite to ensure safety and the continuation of campus operations.” It concluded with a reminder that individuals in violation of university policy or the law could face “interim suspension, suspension, dismissal, or legal action.”

In an interview with The UCSD Guardian, an anonymous protester expanded on the demands for the university.

“It should not be hard for our institution to send out a letter or send out a statement that they are against [the genocide] and demanding a permanent and lasting ceasefire,” they said.

The anonymous protestor also stressed the importance of the encampment taking place on campus.

“Repeatedly institutions have never been on the right side of history, and it’s been students who have essentially applied the pressure on these institutions to make the right decisions, i.e., divesting from apartheid, like in South Africa, and in this case, genocide and apartheid,” they said.

Protesters plan to peacefully stay at the encampment until their demands are met by the university.

This is a breaking story and The UCSD Guardian will continue to provide updates as it develops.

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