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The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

BREAKING: Pro-Palestine Protestors Launch Encampment on Quad

Around 100 protestors set up roughly 20 tents outside of Swift Hall at 10 a.m.
Protestors+set+up+an+encampment+on+the+main+quad+on+Monday+morning.
Peter Maheras
Protestors set up an encampment on the main quad on Monday morning.

UChicago United for Palestine (UCUP) launched an encampment on the main quad on Monday morning. Around 100 protestors set up roughly 20 tents outside of Swift Hall at 10 a.m.

A sign posted in front of the encampment read, “We demand The University of Chicago Divest, Disclose, Repair—UChicago United.” UCUP has named their encampment the “UChicago Popular University for Gaza.”

The move comes as protestors have set up similar encampments at Columbia University, Harvard University, and UC Berkeley. Demonstrators at other universities in Illinois have also set up encampments in recent days, including Northwestern University on April 25 and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on April 26.

Although the University does not disclose its investments, a 2020 Maroon investigation found that the University invested in funds that included weapons manufacturers and fossil fuel companies.

The University has long maintained that divestment would violate its stance against taking positions on social and political issues, as articulated in the Kalven Report.

The University’s outdoor events policy requires events that involve “special circumstances” such as overnight stays or demonstrations to receive permission from the University. However, the University’s protest policy allows protests to continue “until or unless University officials determine that University operations have been compromised and/or the rights of others have been significantly infringed.” The policy also specifies that “interference with instruction and research are viewed as particularly disruptive to the University.”

UCPD officers and safety ambassadors were present at the event who did not intervene in the setting up of the encampment. Legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild were also in attendance.

Other universities have taken varying approaches towards encampments. Across nearly 20 universities, administrators have attempted to clear out protests by imposing ID restrictions on certain campus areas, arresting protestors, and utilizing “chemical irritants” to dispel crowds.

UCUP, formerly UChicago United, formed in 2017 as a coalition of multiple different student activist groups including Students for Justice in Palestine at UChicago, Environmental Justice Task Force, UChicago Against Displacement, and Care Not Cops.

This past Friday, UCUP organized a rally in front of Levi Hall and a subsequent march to locations on campus such as the Crown Family School of Social Work, the Law School, the Rubenstein Forum, and the Harris School of Public Policy. During the rally, the coalition raised demands towards the University including disclosure of its investments, divestment from weapons manufacturers and fossil fuel companies, and reparations for residents of the South Side.

In November, the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) arrested protestors with UCUP who were engaged in a sit-in inside Rosenwald Hall. All charges were later dropped.

The Maroon will post updates on the story as it develops here.

Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Anu Vashist, Managing Editor, Peter Maheras and Eric Fang, News Editors, Tiffany Li and Emma Janssen, Deputy News Editors, and Austin Zeglis, Senior News Reporter

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About the Contributor
Peter Maheras
Peter Maheras, Head News Editor
Peter is a third-year student in the College from Brookline, Massachusetts. He is studying political science and Law, Letters, and Society. For The Maroon, Peter often writes about the relationship between the University and its neighbors as well as about Chicago politics. Outside of The Maroon, Peter is an avid podcast consumer and Love Island fanatic.
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  • U

    UIUC Rocket Scientist / Apr 30, 2024 at 9:23 pm

    40+ years ago universities were asked to divest of stocks in South Africa to end apartheid.

    Today, universities are asked to divest of stocks in Israel to end discrimination against Palestinians.

    The big difference between the two goals is that the goal in South Africa was to end apartheid and give native Africans to right of self-determination, not to end the state of South Africa and genocide the white settlers as happened in Rhodesia earlier.

    The goal of the effort is, in the words of its proponents, is to undo the 1948 UN decree establishing Israel and run all Jews out of the area called Palestine.

    That goal isn’t happening anytime soon.

    Reply
  • A

    A Pal for Palestine / Apr 29, 2024 at 12:56 pm

    OMG camping trip on campus, sign me up!
    Can’t wait to do my homework in the midst of a beautiful camping trip mid-campus. This must be the “college experience” they were talking about!
    Who knows, maybe while we’re at it, we can convince them to remove that ridiculous pro-Isreal sign with a barcode to Hamas dot com (a website filled with fake statistics and fake video links).

    Reply
  • J

    Jacob Myrene / Apr 29, 2024 at 12:20 pm

    LOL. YOU’RE LATE.

    Midterms are over. Free time to spare. And that means…A sleepover? With…a picnic? Can I come?! *Cackles manically.*

    Oh, and they’re here to stay! Lookit—a generator.

    Too bored. BAHAHHAHA. AHAHAHAHAH. AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA.

    Reply