Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses (2024)

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3:47 p.m. ET, May 6, 2024

White House says it's "unfortunate that a small group of people went too far" and cost Columbia University's commencement

From CNN's DJ Judd

Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses (1)

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday it’s “unfortunate” that Columbia University students will experience a scaled-back commencement after demonstrators occupied a campus building that resulted in several people arrested.

“It is unfortunate that a small group of people went too far and cost their classmates this important event," she said.

Quoting remarks from President Joe Biden last week, Jean-Pierre told reporters during the White House press briefing, “destroying property is not a peaceful protest — it's against the law. Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes, and graduations — none of this is a peaceful protest.”

Earlier Monday, CNN reported Columbia planned to cancel the university-widecommencementceremony planned for next week and will be holding smaller events instead due in part to security concerns, per a university official. The university official told CNN that security concerns were one of the main reasons for the decision not to hold a large commencement ceremony.

Jean-Pierre told reporters that President Joe Biden, who’s scheduled to deliver the commencement addresses at Morehouse College and at West Point later this month, “understands that this is a moment of joy, a moment of celebration — and we feel for them.”

“We feel for each of the graduates, and we're going to continue to reiterate the President's comments and statements and what we've said from this podium — to call for protests peacefully, and that's what we're going to continue to do, but we do feel for them," she said. "These are graduates who are going to miss out on an incredibly important day of commencement.”

Jean Pierre declined to say if plans are being made in the event protesters disrupt either of Biden’s scheduled commencement addresses, instead referring questions to the US Secret Service.

3:09 p.m. ET, May 6, 2024

64 people have been arrested during the dismantling of encampment at UC San Diego

From CNN’s Cindy Von Quednow

Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses (2)

A total of 64 people were arrested as police dismantled a protest encampment at the University of California, San Diego, campus on Monday, school officials said in an updated statement.

Of those arrested, 24 people were not affiliated with the university, according to the statement.

“The arrested students have been or will be placed under immediate interim suspension,” the statement said.

The encampment was “successfully and peacefully” dismantled around 6 a.m. PT by the UC San Diego Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, university officials said in an earlier statement.

“The decision to vacate the site was based on danger arising from a prolonged event in terms of health, fire, safety and security,” the earlier statement read.

A minor injury was reported at that time, university officials said without elaborating.

3:05 p.m. ET, May 6, 2024

MIT deadline to clear encampment passes. Students face suspension and possible eviction

From CNN’s Isabel Rosales

Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses (3)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) ordered protesters in a letter to peacefully clear an encampment by 2:30 p.m. on Monday or face disciplinary action, after efforts to reach an agreement crumbled.

Students who refuse to leave the encampment by the deadline will face “immediate interim academic suspension” that will last through commencement activities, barring them from classes, exams, research or graduation activities, according to the letter.

Two weeks ago, pro-Palestinian students at MIT in Cambridge set up over a dozen tents as an act of solidarity with students at Columbia University, camping out at Kresge Oval.

In a message to the university community, MIT President Sally Kornbluth warned of athreat of outside interference and potential violence.

“As recently as this weekend, we were presented with firm evidence of outside interference on US campuses, including widely disseminated literature that advocates escalation, with very clear instructions and suggested means, including vandalism,” said Kornbluth. “Our own campus has seen a variety of actions involving people from outside MIT, including a series of rallies organized by people who have no MIT affiliation. An outside group is planning another campus disruption here this afternoon.”

Last week, the university erected barriers around the Pro-Palestinian encampment, ahead of a large counterprotest organized by the New England chapter of the Israeli American Council.

The letter handed out to MIT activists detailed escalating consequences for students depending on whether or not they voluntarily leave.

Those that have previously been sanctioned by the Committee on Discipline or have a pending case since October 7, face “immediate interim full suspension” meaning students will “not be permitted to reside in your assigned residence hall or use MIT dining halls.”

Students who do voluntarily leave the encampment and swipe their IDs on the way out will have that noted as a “mitigating factor” when reviewing their disciplinary case.

“This prolonged use of MIT property as a venue for protest, without permission, especially on an issue with such sharp disagreement, is no longer safely sustainable,” said Kornbluth.

2:17 p.m. ET, May 6, 2024

UCLA moves all classes online amid resurgence of protesters

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses (4)

All classes at UCLA are moving online during a resurgence of protesters on campus, the university announced in a safety alert Monday.

“All classes are moving remote today 5/6 and campus operations are limited due to ongoing disruptions,” saysthe notice.

The decision follows three days of cancelled classes and remote learning prompted by violent clashes at an encampment that was cleared by police early Thursday morning. UCLA and campus police did not comment on those arrests. The Los Angeles Police Department said only that it was assisting and referred all comments to the university.

The local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine saidin a social media postthat a few dozen people were arrested in a parking structure. SJP at UCLA had alsoannounced a sit inat Moore Hall, just south of where the encampment was previously located.

2:42 p.m. ET, May 6, 2024

Pomona College student protesters set up encampment in school's graduation venue

From CNN's Rachel Ramirez

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Southern California's Pomona College on Monday set up their second encampment of the year on the lawn where construction for graduation is underway, according to an Instagram post from protest organizers.

Pomona Divest from Apartheid, a coalition of student groupsdemandingthe college “disclose and divest” its $2.8 billion endowment from “all weapons manufacturers and all institutions that aid the ongoing occupation of Palestine," said student members are prepared to defend the encampment until their demands are met.

In response, the university sent out a statement asking students and university members to avoid the encampment area, noting that campus buildings are shifting to "swipe access as a precaution" due to safety concerns, the statement said.

"Our students, faculty, staff and alumni hold a range of viewpoints. Throughout the year, college leaders have offered to meet with student protesters and will continue to do so," Patricia Vest, senior director of communicationsat Pomona College, told CNN. "We will promote safety for all members of our community and pursue our educational mission, considering the full range of viewpoints."

The encampment comes just a little over a month after around 20 people were arrested for staging a sit-in at the college's Alexander Hall.

Before the early April sit-in, protests have gone on largely without interference until Pomona College’s president sent a message to the university community on April 3, decrying the “harassment targeting visitors to our campus” and telling students continued violation of the student code “is subject to disciplinary action.”

School staff and security on April 5 began dismantling an “apartheid wall” where pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered, CNN previously reported.

Protesters are urging the college "not to repeat their mistakes," calling on the college president to "not opt for violence again," but rather "listen to your community."

CNN's Cheri Mossburg and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.

11:46 a.m. ET, May 6, 2024

Harvard threatens ‘involuntary leave’ for protesters involved in encampment

From CNN's Matt Egan

Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses (5)

Harvard University warned protesters on Monday that those involved in the pro-Palestinian encampment on campus face "involuntary leave" and may not be able to sit for exams.

“I write today with this simple message: The continuation of the encampment presents a significant risk to the educational environment of the University,” Alan Garber, Harvard’s interim president, wrote in anemailto the Harvard community.

“Those who participate in or perpetuate its continuation will be referred for involuntary leave from their schools,” Garber said.

Students placed on involuntary leave may not be able to sit for exams, may not reside in Harvard housing and “must cease to be present on campus until reinstated,” the Harvard interim president said.

Protesters set up an encampment at Harvard Yard nearly two weeks ago despite efforts by the university to prevent such a large-scale protest.

Garber did not explicitly threaten on Monday to ask law enforcement to intervene, something that has happened at other universities in recent weeks.

In his new email, Garber said officials are “especially troubled by increasing reports that some within, and some supporting, the encampment have intimidated and harassed other members of our community.” He said Harvard staffers asking to see the IDs of protesters have been yelled at by supporters, who have “tried to encircle them.”

“We have also received reports that passers-by have been confronted, surveilled and followed. Such actions are indefensible and unacceptable,” Garber said.

Garber haspreviously saidHarvard would have a “very, very high bar” before asking police to intervene.

10:43 a.m. ET, May 6, 2024

Police clear out UC-San Diego protest encampment, classes held remotely Monday

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses (6)

Police officers are clearing out a pro-Palestinian protest encampment at the University of California-San Diego on Monday morning. Video fromCNN affiliate KFMBshowed officers from several different departments entering the encampment, including San Diego Police and California Highway Patrol.

The university announced it is suspending activities on the WestCampus due to the police action, as lectures and classes move remote, the UC-San Diego said in apublic notice.

University Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla saidin a statement issued Sundaythat efforts to communicate with encampment organizers had broken down.

“We began communicating with participants within minutes of the camp’s establishment. Nevertheless, the encampment has tripled in size in violation of the group’s commitment not to expand the footprint,” said Khosla. “This encampment poses an unacceptable safety and security hazard on campus.”
10:08 a.m. ET, May 6, 2024

Students set up pro-Palestine encampment in Bologna, Italy

From CNN's Barbie Latza Nadeau in Rome

Around 100 students have set up around 30 tents at the Piazza Scaravilli, the first pro-Palestine encampment at the University of Bologna on Sunday, according to Italian state police.

Protest organizers have scheduled a number of activities and events, including a speech on May 8 by Patrick Zaki, an Egyptian student and researcher affiliated with the university who made international headlines when he was detained in Cairo for more than a year due to his research.

In addition to the encampment, the students have also called for a nationwide pro-Palestinian march on May 15.

“We have been working for months, interfacing with the University of Bolognaand its governance, to ask for the interruption of research agreements with Israeli universities and companies complicit in the genocide, and with Italian companies that actively support Israelin its ethnic cleansing,” the Giovani Palestinesi d’Italia (Palestinian Youth Italy group), which organized the encampment, said via social media and in press interviews.

“We send an even broader appeal: we ask the Italian government and the institutions of the Western world to immediately cease their shameful and criminal complicity with the crimes of the Israeli government in Palestine.”

The University of Bologna is a public research university founded in 1088 and is the oldest university in continuous operation in the world, according to its website.

1:24 p.m. ET, May 6, 2024

Columbia and other universities rethink commencement ceremonies. Here's what you should know

From CNN staff

As graduation ceremonies began at colleges and universities across the US this weekend, amid pro-Palestinian protests on campus, some major universities like Columbia have decided to either cancel or modify their main commencement ceremonies.

The University of Southern California was the first to cancel its main commencement ceremony at the end of April, citing "new safety measures in place." As arrests unfolded and escalated across campus encampments last week, other universities are following suit.

Demands vary for these pro-Palestinian protests that have swept university campuses in recent weeks, but most demonstrators are calling for their schools todivest from companiesand other entities that they say support or benefit fromIsrael's war in Gaza.

Here are the latest developments:

Harvard University: The school warned that protesters involved in the pro-Palestinian encampment face "involuntary leave" and may not be able to sit for exams and may not reside in Harvard housing.

Columbia University: Columbia University on Monday canceled its university-wide commencement ceremony planned for next week due in part to security concerns, a university official told CNN. Instead, Columbia said it will “make the centerpiece of our Commencement activities our Class Day and school-level ceremonies, where students are honored individually alongside their peers.”

Emory University: Atlanta's Emory University on Monday announced it will scale back and relocate its commencement ceremony, also citing concerns for safety and security as the main reasoning for adjusting plans.

Princeton hunger strike: Some students at Princeton University in New Jersey have launcheda hunger strikeuntil their demands are met, according to a student protest group. At least 17 undergraduate students were taking part as of Sunday, according to theDaily Princetonian. Princeton told CNN they "care about their well-being," and that physicians were monitoring the group.

British universities: The campus protests have spread across the Atlantic, where pro-Palestinian encampments have been set up at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England, as students there call on leadership to sever ties to Israel.In the statement, the group said they "stand in solidarity" with students across the globe "from CUNY to UCLA, Trinity College to Sciences Po."

University of Southern California:Policecleared a pro-Palestinian protest encampmentat USC without making any arrests Sunday, the school said. It was the second time the school dismantled an encampment at the Los Angeles university. School President Carol Folt said in a statement that theprotesters had chosen to "break the law"and that encampments won't be tolerated on campus.

Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses (2024)
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