click to enlarge A pro-Palestinian encampment was erected at Wayne State University. - Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling

A pro-Palestinian encampment was erected at Wayne State University.

Pro-Palestinian activists set up an protest encampment at Wayne State University on Thursday evening and are making multiple demands, including that the school divest from companies with links to Israel.

About 200 protesters rallied outside the university’s Welcome Center on Thursday before some of them gathered in the encampment, where they pledged to stay until their demands are met.

Zaynah Jadallah, a Wayne State alumnus, listed numerous demands that include the university’s Board of Governors passing a ceasefire resolution that acknowledges “a genocide being carried out by the U.S. and Israel against the indigenous Palestinian population.” She also called on the university to apologize for campus police using “excessive force” to remove protesters from a Board of Governors meeting on April 26.

Other demands include creating scholarships and fellowships for Palestinians, fully disclosing all of the university’s investments, and ending the campus police department’s trips to Israel.

It’s not yet clear how police are going to handle the encampment.

Wayne State University spokesman Matthew Lockwood told Metro Times that police are monitoring the situation.

click to enlarge Pro-Palestinian activists at an encampment at Wayne State University. - Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling

Pro-Palestinian activists at an encampment at Wayne State University.

“A small encampment of pro-Palestinian protestors was set up on our campus,” Lockwood said in a written statement. “It is an evolving situation, with public safety on site to ensure that it is peaceful, safe, and non-disruptive to our campus operations.”

Inside the encampment on Friday morning, about 20 protesters sat peacefully under the shade of a tree, talking in hushed tones. The camp was ringed with signs that read, “Divest from Genocide,” “Fund Our Education Not Our Occupation,” “Enough,” and “From Palestine to the Philippines, Stop the U.S. War Machine.”

Other universities have been criticized for forcibly disbanding similar camps and pepper-spraying and arresting activists.

On Tuesday morning at the University of Michigan, police in riot gear used batons and pepper spray to drive protesters back from their encampment before tossing tents, supplies, and students’ belongings into trash containers.

Dana, a WSU alumnus who declined to give her last name, said the encampment represents liberation.

“We are here continuing the efforts of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and we have our liberated zone, and we’re continuing the student movement towards diversity,” Dana said.

@metrotimes Days after police dismantled a student anti-war protest encampment at the University of Michigan, a new one is being set up at Wayne State University in Detroit. #detroit #metrodetroit #michigan #gaza #palestine #israel #ceasefirenow ♬ original sound – Detroit Metro Times

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