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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

LIVE UPDATES: Pro-Palestine Encampment Enters Its Third Day on Quad

Check back for updates on the events unfolding during UChicago United for Palestine’s encampment on the quad.
Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon
The encampment on the quad enters its third day.

UChicago United for Palestine (UCUP) launched an encampment on the quad outside of Swift Hall at 10 a.m. on Monday, following in the steps of pro-Palestinian groups at numerous other universities that have set up encampments in recent weeks.

This article is being updated as the situation develops.

Coverage from days one and two of the encampment can be read on the Chicago Maroon.

Day 3 Summary

The third day of the UChicago United for Palestine (UCUP) encampment was marked by early-morning counterprotesters, ongoing conflict over Maroons for Israel’s installation, and an evening rally held by protesters with Chicago Youth 4 Palestine. The day also brought comments from Professor Jerry Coyne regarding him having allegedly spat on a demonstrator yesterday, a Zoom teach-in with Dr. Sami Al-Arian, and a meeting between UCUP and the University.

In the early morning before sunrise, four individuals attempted to disturb the encampment by playing beer pong on the quad. A veteran scholar and protester told the Maroon that “One of the guys put his hand on my shoulder and told me ‘you’re gonna be in a world of hurt tomorrow.’”

UCUP organizers met with the University in the morning to discuss the encampment. UCUP told the Maroon that “No negotiations were had on the state of the encampment.”

UCUP also sent the Maroon a statement regarding an incident yesterday afternoon where UChicago Professor Emeritus Jerry Coyne allegedly spat on a protester. Responding to the claims, Coyne said “I absolutely did not spit on demonstrators or on anybody else, as I abhor and avoid violence of any kind.”

Parts of Maroons For Israel’s (MFI) installment on the quad went missing or were vandalized for the third straight night. MFI returned to the quad in the afternoon to rehang banners and flags, and told the Maroon, “We won’t be silenced. They can try and silence us but it won’t work.” One of MFI’s signs was at the center of an encounter at 2:30 p.m. involving nine police officers, protesters, the Rabbi of Chabad, and others during a period of heightened tension on the quad.

The encampment also held a teach-in with Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Al-Arian is a Palestinian political activist, who pled guilty in 2006 to conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a federally designated terrorist organization. Speaking over Zoom to protesters, he drew parallels between the current wave of pro-Palestinian student protests and the student strikes of 1970, when students across the U.S. protested the expansion of the Vietnam war into Cambodia.

Individuals and community members, some associated with Chabad, set up a table on the quad twice today with a sign reading “Hamas wants me dead.” Shmuel Brackman, son of Chabad Rabbi Yossi Brackman, expressed a desire for the installation not to be labeled a “counter-protest.” “We’re just out here… giving Jews some support, moral support.”

At 5:20 p.m., demonstrators from Chicago Youth 4 Palestine arrived to the quad to support the encampment, which continues to grow in size.

May 1, 10:57 p.m.

A group of roughly 20 people have gathered outside the encampment and begun drumming and chanting. Chants include “Free, free Palestine” and “Five, six, seven, eight, Israel is an apartheid state.”

Peter Maheras, News Editor

May 1, 10:33 p.m.

As activity winds down on day three of the encampment, protesters’ roughly 150 tents extend all the way from Levi Hall to the center of the quad, and from Swift Hall to Kent Chemical Laboratory.

Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor

May 1, 9:43 p.m.

Around 25 protesters in the encampment participated in a training on how to use shields to protect other protesters. The shields used by the group were wooden boards with arm straps attached to the back, with the words “Fight on” written between the arm straps. The protesters painted slogans on the fronts of the shields, such as “Stop the US war machine.” 

Organizers, clapping their hands and calling “Forward,” “Back,” and “Halt,” instructed those with shields on how to stand and how to stay tight to each other while moving.

– Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor; and Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter.

May 1, 7:52 p.m.

A rally began at 5:30 p.m. after high school students marched through the encampment. The students then stood opposite speakers holding a large banner that read “Chi youth 4 Palestine.” 

The first speaker talked about standing in “solidarity with the people of Palestine” and addressing the crowd by saying, “You can personally make a difference.” She ended her speech by leading the chant, “the students united will never be defeated.” 

After her speech, the high school students led another round of chants, including, “Not another nickel, not another dime, bombing children is a crime.”

The next speaker, a Mexican student who attends John Hancock College Preparatory High School, told the crowd that many of the high school students walking out from classes were also Latino students, and that Latino students made up 46.9 percent of the Chicago Public Students student population. 

As the speech ended, another person took up the microphone to ask the crowd to chant loudly as the “Zionists behind us” played loud music. A table set up by people affiliated with Chabad near the quad’s main circle played Israeli music from speakers during the rally. The crowd chanted “Intifada, long live the intifada” and “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.” The table and music were removed before the end of the rally at 5:50 p.m.

The next speaker was Eric Ramos, an ironworker from the Architectural Ironworker Union #163. “Palestine is the tip of a spear,” he said. He spoke about May Day’s celebration of workers rights, connecting it to Palestine as a “labor issue.” Ramos, who is Puerto Rican, also connected Chicago’s large Puerto Rican diaspora to its large Palestinian diaspora. “When I look at the Palestinians I see my people,” Ramos said.

The last speaker, Noor from the Palestinian Feminist Collective, called for “standing in solidarity with other encampments, but first and foremost, we are here for Gaza.”

The rally ended with chants, including, “You’re not on your students’ side you keep funding genocide” and “Paul, Paul, what you know, where does all our money go?”

— Elena Eisenstadt, Grey City Editor

May 1, 7:13 p.m.

Maroons for Israel (MFI) rehung its signs on the main quad, some of them salvaged from earlier use. University Student Centers has extended approval for MFI’s installment through Friday, May 10. 

In a statement to the Maroon, MFI said, “We won’t be silenced. They can try and silence us but it won’t work.”

They informed the Maroon that UCPD has allocated an Allied Security officer to monitor the installation throughout the day and overnight.

Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor, and Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter

Maroons for Israel puts its signs back up for a fourth time since they were first put up on Friday. (Nathan Rodwell-Simon)

May 1, 6:30 p.m.

UCUP organizers met with the University this morning to discuss the encampment, according to a statement from UCUP.

In a statement to the Maroon, UCUP said, “A meeting occurred between students organizing the UChicago Encampment for Gaza and representatives of the administration. No negotiations were had on the state of the encampment.”

“The UChicago Popular University for Gaza remains steadfast in their demands for the acknowledgment of scholasticide in Gaza and disclosure, divestment, and repair for accountability and material reparations for the people of Palestine and the Southside community of Chicago that the university is situated in,” the statement concluded.

The University told the Maroon that the University had no comment on the meeting.

— Peter Maheras, News Editor

May 1, 5:48 p.m.

At 5:20 p.m., around 30 high school students arrived at the encampment in support of the encampment. They were accompanied by adult chaperones and legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild.

Walking through Hyde Park to the main quad, the students chanted into a megaphone, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the occupation’s got to go!”

The students are part of Chicago Youth for Justice. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the students attend multiple high schools, including Chicago High School for the Arts, Payton College Prep, Hancock College Prep, Jones College Prep, and Kenwood Academy High School.

The students congregated in front of the large wooden mural by the encampment, participating in chants with encampment members. The high school students brought signs with slogans such as, “Where does CPS money go?,” “Sit with us, stand with Palestine,” and “Bombing kids is not self defense.” 

— Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Anu Vashist, Managing Editor; Katherine Weaver, Deputy News Editor; and Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter

High school students have joined the UChicago encampment members on the main quad. (Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon)

May 1, 5:05 p.m. 

A student wearing a kippah attempted to enter the encampment from its south side at around 5 p.m. but was prevented by protesters. Two UCPD officers and a Dean-on-Call spoke with both parties. The Dean-on-Call reiterated to protesters that they could not prevent individuals from traversing through the encampment, adding “I want to be clear the quad is not closed.”

Protesters responded that they would continue to prevent people who made encampment members feel uncomfortable from entering.

A UCPD sergeant asked protesters to instead find an officer if they felt uncomfortable, saying “We ask you not to engage. Come and get us first and we [will] come right over and remove them.”

Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor, and Nikhil Jaiswal, Co-Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

May 1, 4:55 p.m.

The students and community members who set up a table and raised a banner representing the Western Wall in Jerusalem have returned to the quad. They have set up a speaker and are playing Hebrew music by artists such as Benny Friedman and Eyal Golan.

Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor

A sign on a table in the quad reads “Hamas wants me dead.” (Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon)

May 1, 4:07 p.m.

None of the signs and Israeli flags put up by Maroons for Israel (MFI) yesterday remain on the quad. The installation was registered with University Student Centers and approved through Tuesday, May 7. Maroons for Israel told the Maroon that they were not responsible for the removal of any remaining signs this afternoon. 

Several flags went missing overnight, as reported previously by the Maroon. One sign was found by the Maroon beside a trash can on Ellis Avenue near Cobb Hall. Another sign was at the center of an encounter at 2:30 p.m. involving nine police officers, protesters, the Rabbi of Chabad, and others.

The students and community members, most affiliated with Chabad at UChicago, who set up a small banner on the quad representing the Western Wall in Jerusalem have left with their banner and table. 

Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor

May 1, 3:50 p.m.

A crowd of around 50 gathered at around 1:40 p.m. to listen to a Zoom lecture delivered by Sami Al-Arian, the director of the Center for Islam and Global Affairs at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University.

Al-Arian is a Palestinian who worked as a computer engineering professor at the University of South Florida before being charged with racketeering for Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) by federal prosecutors in 2003. Al-Arian’s trial received much media attention, with activists and Arab-American advocacy groups condemning the charges as retribution for Al-Arian’s pro-Palestinian activism. 

On May 1, 2006, Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In 2015, the U.S deported Al-Arian to Turkey, where he remains today.

“Let me start by thanking you for the invitation and for giving me the pleasure to address this crowd,” Al-Arian said. “I salute you for what you do.”

Arian spoke about his experience going through trial and being imprisoned and encouraged the protesters. He drew parallels between the current wave of pro-Palestinian student protests and the student strikes of 1970, when students across the U.S. protested the expansion of the Vietnam war into Cambodia starting May 1, 1970.

“I’m not asking that you commit suicide or career suicide or take unnecessary risks. You should be very smart about taking risks and about speaking out and the rhetoric you use, and the enemies that you confront, and not to be provoked,” Al-Arian said. “But it’s very important that you stand up on principles… I believe what you are doing today is very commendable.”

“This is not a religious issue. We’re not fighting Jews, we’re not fighting people because of their faith or ethnicity, or for whatever other ways we’re personally different. We’re fighting aggression. We’re fighting that system, [the] colonialist, supremacist, racist, aggressive regime,” he said.

Emma Janssen and Tiffany Li, Deputy News Editors; and Finn Hartnett and Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporters

May 1, 3 p.m.

An altercation occurred around 2:30 p.m. after a protester grabbed a banner from Maroons for Israel’s installation, which was registered with the University, and started running toward University Avenue. 

The director and rabbi of Chabad, Yossi Brackman, grabbed the sign back. A second individual followed the pair and tried to shield the protester from Brackman. The protester then ran away past Pick Hall, and three officers restrained the second individual. 

Five additional officers arrived at the scene, as did onlookers from around the quad. The Dean-on-Call told onlookers not to record the scene. 

Anu Vashist, Managing Editor; Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor; and Finn Hartnett, News Reporter

May 1, 1:30 p.m.

Students and community members, most affiliated with Chabad at UChicago, have set up a table and small banner representing the Western Wall in Jerusalem across from the encampment.

“That is the spot of the Beit Hamikdash, the holy temple,” Shmuel Brackman, son of Chabad Rabbi Yossi Brackman, said of the banner. “The holy temples have predated Islam, Christianity, and any other religion by a very long time.”

Bonnie Glick, who lives in Hyde Park and helped set up the installation, spoke to the Maroon about her anger toward the encampment. “I grew up in this community, I sent both my kids to University of Chicago undergrad, [and] invested half a million dollars in their education, which is now being devalued.” Glick served as the Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Donald Trump.

“The value of their degrees is diminished. It’s the same at every one of the elite universities, where parents have invested and children are squandering the investment,” Glick continued.

When asked what values she saw the encampment debasing, Glick said: “How about an education? How about an education about facts? How about not indoctrination into some kind of childish playcamp that wants Israel gone and all Jews dead?”

When asked whether she believed the protesters wanted all Jewish people dead, Glick said: “I believe some of them would. I believe most of them are just dumb.”

Glick also held strong opinions about what action the University should take toward the encampment. “Negotiate with petulant students who make demands that are unrealistic and counter to the university’s values? No, I don’t want the University to do that,” she said. “The police should be here, taking down this illegal encampment.”

When questioned as to whether the University should be breaking up a civil protest, Glick stated that she didn’t consider the protest civilized. “There’s a bathroom tent. I don’t consider that to be civilized for hundreds of students camping out here,” she said. “That’s disgusting. It’s unsanitary.”

Shmuel Brackman, who attends college in California, also spoke to the Maroon about the encampment and Chabad’s installment.

“This is giving me Germany 1938-39 vibes,” he said of the encampment. “You hear what they’re saying? ‘We don’t want a Jewish state.’ ‘The IDF and the KKK are the same.’ ‘Down with Israel,’ ‘down with America.’ It’s not too hard to see.”

Brackman expressed a desire for the installation not to be labeled a “counter-protest.” “We’re just out here… giving Jews some support, moral support. Showing that you don’t need to be hateful, scream ‘death to the Jews’, any of that,” he said.

Emma Janssen, Deputy News Editor; Finn Hartnett, News Reporter; Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter; and Tiffany Li, Deputy News Editor

Students and community members, most affiliated with Chabad at UChicago, standing at their table, which represents the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon)

May 1, 12:43 p.m.

Amer Abdullah, A.B. ’02, a Palestinian community member, and the owner of Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen on 53rd, told a number of jokes with the punchline, “The state of Israel is full of shit.”

Switching to a more serious tone, he told the crowd that twenty years ago his parents told him not to protest out of fear of attack from “Jewish people,” but that “things are different today. My biggest allies are Jewish, and they protest proudly against Zionists and Zionism.”

“Zionists—they might be standing next to you right now,” Abdullah said. “I say to you, ‘Do not let [their] propaganda sway you to being on the wrong side of history.’”

He closed by saying, “We honor you, oh Jewish brothers and sisters, for your courage. And we pray, that despite family disagreements, that you all have love and courtesy with your family in these very difficult moments.”

An organizer then led a chant of “We don’t want no two-state, we want all of ’48” referring to the land of Palestine before 1948. 

Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor; and Tiffany Li, Deputy News Editor

Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon

May 1, 12:32 p.m.:

Jackson Potter, Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), spoke at the rally. Potter told those gathered that he is a Jewish former UChicago grad student who dropped out of his PhD program. Potter went on to speak about the significance of May Day and labor organizing in Chicago. 

“May Day and the eight-hour day movement has its roots in Chicago,” Potter told the crowd. 

Potter spoke against what he called the “mischaracterization of protests as a ‘clear and present danger.’”

“Does anybody feel in danger right now? This is the most peaceful I’ve felt in months,” said Potter. “As the representative of the CTU I want you to know that we stand with you today. All of us fight against Islamophobia [and] antisemitism… We don’t want hatred.”

After Potter’s speech, the crowd chanted: “Over forty thousand dead. You’re arresting kids instead. Intifada, intifada, long live the intifada. There is only one solution, intifada, revolution.”

Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor; and Emma Janseen and Tiffany Li, Deputy News Editors

May 1, 12:25 p.m.:

At approximately 12:30 p.m., a community organizer with GoodKidsMadCity, a Black- and brown-led youth activist group committed to ending violence in Chicago, discussed the connection between the South Side and Palestine. The organizer primarily commended the transformative power of community-organizing and student activism and denounced the harms of capitalism, gentrification, and colonization.

“The Chicago Police Department has always been on the side of the corporations [and] of the state as a tool for repression, as attack dogs for capitalists,” the organizer said. “[The state] has two tools at its disposal: concession and repression. Our goal is beyond the boundary of concession and repression. We want transformation, we want revolutionary.”

Having been a member of the South Side community since 2008, the organizer called for action against UChicago’s encroachment on existing South Side community members, expressing that “there’s still a fight to push back against the Obama Center.”

“I’m seeing people being forced out, buildings being torn down, condos being built,” the organizer said. “I’m seeing my community transform before my eyes, [and] it’s all a part of [the] colonization that’s happening here, and in Palestine.”

“This occupation is beautiful to see, [and] the solidarity is beautiful to see,” the organizer said. “I hope… you all walk away from this [and] continuing to build community, continuing to build power, and understanding that this is a part of a legacy. This is a moment in time that you are a part of.”

A rally organizer then led a chant of “Whose streets? Our streets. Whose school? Our school.”

Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor; and Tiffany Li, Deputy News Editor

A GoodKidsMadCity community organizer addresses the growing crowd at today’s rally. (Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon)

May 1, 12:23 p.m. 

The statue of Carl von Linné, located on the Midway, has been spray painted with several phrases, including “death 2 amerikkka” and “death 2 academy.” The Midway is part of the Chicago Park District and the statue is not on University property.

Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter

“death 2 amerikkka” is spray-painted across the statue of Carl von Linné located on the Midway. (Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon)

May 1, 12:17 p.m.:

Organizer Youssef Hasweh read the Popular Front for Liberation in Palestine’s May Day statement. Hasweh is a fourth-year student in the College and a Palestinian Muslim. “When I think about my college experience,” he said, “I’m going to think about the people who are here at this rally.” 

Hasweh said his one regret of his time at UChicago is having served as a tour guide and UChicago ambassador at conferences while working for the admissions office. “All I’ve done is what they’ve trained me to do: sing the University’s praises… [Then,] I was arrested at the exact same admissions office where I answered calls from.”

“There’s nothing I regret more than allowing any Palestinian or student in this country to think differently of what this school really is,” Hasweh said. “UChicago is complicit in the genocide of Palestinians and my family. ”

Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor; and Tiffany Li, Deputy News Editor

May 1, 12:01 p.m.:

The rally has begun.

Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor

May 1, 12:00 p.m.:

Videos reviewed by the Maroon confirmed that four individuals were playing beer pong and attempting to disturb the encampment in the early morning.

– Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter

May 1, 11:09 a.m: 

According to encampment participant Chris Boren, a Navy veteran scholar, counterprotesters set up a beer pong table between 2 and 3 a.m. in an effort to disturb the encampment.

“[The counterprotestors] were already drunk, you could smell it on them,” Boren said. “One of them would throw ping pong balls at the encampment [and tried to] entice us to step on [the ping pong balls] so that he could react.”

Boren was also “directly threatened” by the counterprotestors.

“One of the guys put his hand on my shoulder and told me ‘You’re gonna be in a world of hurt tomorrow.’” Boren said. “They [also] accused me of ‘stolen valor,’ telling me I’m not actually a vet.”

According to Boren, near sunrise, the counterprotestors packed up and expressed that “they would come back every single night.”

– Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief, and Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor

May 1, 10:51 a.m: 

UCUP released their schedule of events for the day. It includes a rally at noon and a Zoom teach-in with Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Al-Arian is a Palestinian political activist and former professor at the University of South Florida. In 2006, he pled guilty on one charge of conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a federally designated terrorist organization. He was deported to Turkey in 2015, where he still resides. On their Instagram, UCUP described Al-Arian as a “US political prisoner.”

– Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief, and Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor

May 1, 10:20 a.m.:

At 10 a.m., the encampment entered its 48th hour on the quad.

Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As of 10 a.m. on May 1, the encampment has been on the quad for 48 hours. (Eva McCord)

May 1, 9:44 a.m.:

UCUP sent the Maroon a statement regarding an incident yesterday afternoon where a UChicago professor allegedly spat on a protester. The statement said that “an individual affiliated with the encampment was spit on by Jerry Coyne, UChicago Prof. Emeritus in the Department of Ecology, part of a pattern of unprovoked agitation by Coyne which has often targeted especially vulnerable Black and brown students.” 

Asked for response, Coyne told the Maroon, “I absolutely did not spit on demonstrators or on anybody else, as I abhor and avoid violence of any kind.”

Peggy Mason, Professor of Neurobiology, told the Maroon that the two were walking together and that Mason “can state categorically that he did not spit.”

The Maroon later spoke with the individual who was allegedly spat upon, Nylah Iqbal Muhammad, who is a freelance journalist and an organizer for Chicagoans for Palestine. “I hear spit and feel spit on my right leg,” Muhammad recalled. After she asked Coyne if he spat, Muhammad said Coyne and Mason “both laughed and smirked and started walking [away].” Both Coyne and Muhammad spoke with UCPD, who let Coyne go, Muhammad said.

“I don’t really need closure from this,” Muhammad said. “I do want this to mobilize people to come to UChicago and defend this camp and the ideals we stand for.”

Editor’s note, May 8, 2024: This update has been amended to include remarks from Nylah Iqbal Muhammad, the individual who alleges Coyne spat on them.

Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief; Anu Vashist, Managing Editor; and Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor

May 1, 8:30 a.m.:

UCPD has removed a Palestinian flag hanging from the quad’s main flagpole, replacing it with the American flag. According to a UCPD officer, the American flag is raised every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., excepting in cases of inclement weather and other extenuating circumstances. The Palestinian flag did not touch the ground and was given to an encampment member.

An encampment member said a Palestinian flag was hung last night and was not an official action of the encampment. The Maroon confirmed from photo and video evidence that the American flag had not been raised on previous days of the encampment.

Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief, and Zachary Leiter, Deputy Managing Editor

May 1, 8:20 a.m.:

Three Deans-on-Call are present outside of the encampment.

— Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief, and Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter

May 1, 7:54 a.m.:

The “Escalate for Gaza!” phrase spray painted in the walkway between Weiboldt Hall and the Classics building has been almost completely removed. University Facility Services is in the process of removing an additional piece of spray painted graffiti on the sidewalk outside of Swift Hall reading “Globalize the Intifada.” 

— Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief, and Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter

The “Escalate for Gaza!” phrase has been nearly completely removed from the wall between Weiboldt Hall and the Classics building. (Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon)

May 1, 6:35 a.m.:

The phrase “Escalate for Gaza!”, which had been spray painted on the wall in the walkway between Weiboldt Hall and the Classics building during the first night of the encampment, has been covered by University Facility Services. As the phrase was being covered, a passerby remarked, “I can’t wait for them to round all these people up and suspend their asses.”

— Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The “Escalate for Gaza” phrase has been sprayed over. (Eva McCord)

May 1, 6:30 a.m.:

Maroons for Israel’s registered installation on the quad was partially torn down again overnight. Several flags are missing, and a few of the banners they hung from lampposts on the quad have either been taken or are broken. One of the two University Student Centers sign boards indicating the installation’s approval was also partially covered by a sticker reading “Generation after generation until total liberation – Free Palestine.” This marks the fourth time the installation has been interfered with since a “Criminal Damage to Property” report was filed with UCPD on Saturday night.

— Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, News Reporter

The Israeli flag, which had been hung by students earlier in the morning on day two of the encampment, at approximately 9:40 p.m.. (Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon)
The light post where the Israeli flag had been hung at 6:40 a.m. on day three of the encampment. (Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon)
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About the Contributors
Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon
Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, Deputy Photo Editor, News Reporter
Nathaniel is a first year in the college studying history and Education and Society. He is a News Reporter and Deputy Photo Editor for the Maroon.
Eva McCord
Eva McCord, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Eva McCord is a third-year in the College and 2022 ICPA First-Place Reporter who, contrary to her knowledge (or lack thereof) on which colored Sox is the correct one to cheer for, is pretty good at writing about sports. When she isn’t covering the latest chess tournament or on the field, Eva is either making edits on her latest Viewpoints column, collaborating with other columnists as an illustrator, or tweaking a tote bag design as The Maroon’s merch designer. In a past life, Eva was the 2021 Michigan Journalist of the Year, interned with the Detroit Free Press and USA Today as a 2020 Free Spirit & Journalism Scholar, and served as a guest speaker for Journalism Education Today.
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  • P

    Peter Werner / May 2, 2024 at 9:29 pm

    Is there any evidence AT ALL, other than a single person’s accusation, that Jerry Coyne spat on anyone? The folks claiming this need to put up or shut up. Considering Coyne published a high-profile article in this very publication questioning the validity of Students for Justice in Palestine as a campus group, I’d put at least even odds that this accusation is false and retaliatory.

  • P

    Publius / May 2, 2024 at 12:13 am

    Either the University has rules or it doesn’t. Letting these grandstanders make a mockery of the administration diminishes the reputation of the school as a place for serious thought and discussion. Students should make the rational case for their position, let the community consider and debate it, then move on. Holding the university hostage only diminishes your case. Occupying an encampment makes you look like petulant children.

    • E

      EightiesAlum / May 2, 2024 at 6:00 am

      Good points.

      As an alum, all I ever hear from my University is “gimme, gimme, gimme.” That they are spending $$$ on managing and cleaning up after a daycare does not inspire confidence that alumni donations are used intelligently. What we are learning from this national “monkey see, monkey do” movement is that many of the “students” are not even students (heck, some are almost my age!!). Once you have outsiders infesting campuses, it is not merely a matter of students getting out of hand. You have trespassers and introduce a greater safety issue. Why would the administration invite this sort of risk?

  • A

    Anon / May 1, 2024 at 8:45 pm

    Transparency is good, and we should all know where our money is going. That’s why it’s so concerning that the national SJP is funded by Qatar…

  • S

    Student / May 1, 2024 at 7:36 pm

    Does anyone find it bizarre that the Grad Student Union was at the encampment to give their support? It’s insane that student wages are going to a pro-BDS, anti-Israel union. For those who weren’t there, the Union reps were the last speakers before they brought in the terrorist…

  • S

    Student / May 1, 2024 at 6:08 pm

    Did the Dean on Call have anything to say about chemicals being sprayed on the students? About Zionist agitators trying to doxx students and call them terrorists on their livestreams? Or them trying to disturb and harrass Muslims praying? How would he react if it were the other way around? Absolutely shameful.

    • A

      Alum / May 1, 2024 at 7:21 pm

      “Doxx?” It’s very presumptuous to expect to maintain one’s anonymity while forcefully occupying a campus out in the open. The real world isn’t Twitter, buddy.

      • S

        Student / May 2, 2024 at 12:21 pm

        The “campus” is not occupied. And this was a non-student exposing student’s identities on his live streams to invite harassment and death threats. Perhaps condemn that instead of attacking actual students.

  • B

    Beth / May 1, 2024 at 5:50 pm

    Al Arian is a terrorist, please update the blurb cup wrote for you.

  • P

    Paul / May 1, 2024 at 5:14 pm

    I think you omitted the “convicted terrorist” part from Al Arian’s bio. Pro-level glossing over of the atrocities that he enabled.

  • U

    UC parent / May 1, 2024 at 4:55 pm

    As a parent of a student, I appreciate the updates. Thank you Maroon.

  • B

    Beth P / May 1, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Why would the dean on call tell the onlookers not to record? So free speech for the encampment but no accountability for their actions? Yes, let them wear masks to hide their identity and not be recorded to protect them; it is so hypocritical. However, given that one of the dean’s on call had watermelons painted on her fingernails yesterday it is clear that they are not unbiased. UChicago admin is becoming more hypocritical by the minute.

    • E

      EightiesAlum / May 1, 2024 at 6:47 pm

      Help out an older alum.

      What is the significance of watermelon fingernails? I want to be up to speed when I come to campus for my reunion.


      • 2

        2022 Alum / May 2, 2024 at 1:45 pm

        Watermelon is a symbol for Palestine now. Because of the colors I guess.

  • E

    EightiesAlum / May 1, 2024 at 3:28 pm

    Re: the 3 pm entry . . .

    So a Dean-on-call is telling onlookers not to record what is going on.

    Why shouldn’t they?

  • S

    Stephen Early / May 1, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    Walked through the encampment 3 times in the last two days. Looks very peaceful, clean, and orderly to me. I am appalled at the atrocities Hamas committed on October 7. I am appalled at the Israeli government and military’s response! 40000 mostly noncombatants dead to avenge 1000 dead is unspeakably awful! I applaud the students for doing what must be done. Tensions inflame extremism on both sides of a protest, but I hope cool heads prevail.

    • J

      Jacob Myrene / May 1, 2024 at 5:21 pm

      unironically one of the only based comments in this cesspool of a comment section … LOL. the average age of the DINOSAURS commenting??

      who knows. But they’re ancient. And angry. And poor. And desperate to relive their halcyon years by exerting their control over campus like tyrants. more whining from them than the STANKERS in the tents…mmm

      But they know they’re powerless. You can smell the desperation. They are weak. WEAK

      I think the STANKERS are FILTHY in body and mind. Reall rank. Downright foul in all crevices… leaking from places I didn’t even know existed on the human body…P.U.! (Although the spectacle makes for good entertainment. An experiment in how long the human body can endure hygiene abuse…yuck)

      But for how much the DINOSAURS of this place screech about it being a bastion of free expression, MUH CHICAGO PRINCIPLES, MUH FREE EXPRESSION, they are awfully eager to throw it away when it doesn’t suit them



      LOL. What a joke. The Life of the Musty ENDURES

      Your torment sustains me.



    • A

      Alum / May 1, 2024 at 7:48 pm

      Give me a break, Mrs. Jellyby. Do you care for the millions oppressed in Syria and the hundreds of thousands of dead there? The millions in Sudan? In Yemen? The slaughtered villages in Nigeria? Poor people around you in Hyde Park? Fentanyl addicts in your own nation? No. You just latch on to the current thing you see on TikTok or whatever, enjoying radical chic that costs you nothing.

      • S

        student / May 2, 2024 at 11:40 pm

        All of the other conflicts you mentioned are currently being responded to by the govt – sanctions, efforts to help refugees/victims, etc. We know the administration is acting on it.

        The USA is FUNDING the genocide in Gaza. Israel is bombing Palestinians with American bombs. So yeah, there’s a difference here. People are telling the administration to act on Israel too.

  • A

    Alum / May 1, 2024 at 2:55 pm

    My advice to those objecting to this accursed display is thus: Do not go there and agitate, especially not from the Right (with Gadsden flags, etc.). This will just unite the Left and provide them with their favorite boogeyman of “white privilege.” Instead, ridicule them through every possible forum. Surround them with a moat of ridicule to prevent any sane person who takes a bath once a day from joining. Expose them for what they are: harpies and freakazoids shrieking through nose-piercings who will never amount to anything. No steady employment, no families, just imbecilic rage and agitation.

  • A

    Adam M / May 1, 2024 at 2:00 pm

    “UChicago is complicit in the genocide of Palestinians and my family. ”

    So why remain enrolled at the UChicago? If every dollar of tuition money paid, borrowed, or accepted, is an accessory to genocide, wouldn’t one feel morally obligated to walk away? Wouldn’t you be embarrassed to reveal you are an alum?

    • S

      Student / May 1, 2024 at 7:57 pm

      As a current UChicago student I really admire the student in question for standing up for his family and his people in spite of harrassment, threats, saboteurs, stink bombs, erratic and aggressive alt-right infiltrators, and provocateurs in the form of a faith “leader” and an emeritus faculty. Let’s examine your questions’ framing. UChicago claims to be for open discourse yet opposes giving us basic facts about endowment investments and which weapons it is helping create, to be dropped on innocent people en masse. Administrators have spent months refusing to engage with a large, sincere student movement, while also lying about the situation to the media. Yet the thing that most concerns you here is the student’s supposed hypocrisy, that he dared to open his mouth and voice his ethical stance as a member of a campus community which prides itself on free expression? I keep hearing right wing people, including some on campus, claim to support free expression only to turn around and say, “If you have any problem with administrators’ decisions, find somewhere else to go to school! If you have any critiques of the US, go live in another country!” I want to say bravo to my peers like Y for putting elite, corporate-minded administrators in a position of vulnerability when they thought they could comfortably keep coasting along in a deeply unjust status quo. It is thrilling to see how much consensus on campus there is about the peaceful, humane, and non-prejudicial nature of this action, despite desperate attempts by a few loud Israeli military apologists to slander the encampment as hateful and violent

      • A

        Adam M / May 2, 2024 at 8:16 am

        Thanks for the long reply. Now let’s get back to the question I asked (the one you didn’t answer). Name why would a student continue to attend an institution that he claims is “complicit in the genocide of Palestinians and my family.”

        Speaking for myself, I would immediately disassociate myself from any institution complicit in the genocide of my family. I wonder why this student won’t? Any insights?

  • P

    Paul / May 1, 2024 at 12:07 pm

    Why would you trust a navy veteran? He’s part of the problem. Shame on the maroon, shame on my compatriots pushing for liberation. We have to do better.

  • J

    Jeni / May 1, 2024 at 11:58 am

    Feels like the maroon is just being a mouthpiece for the protestors at this point. At least do us the favor of changing the name of this rag.

  • C

    Cassandra / May 1, 2024 at 11:50 am

    Dr. Sami Al Arian? Bill Ayers? This is not about free speech. It’s about supporting terrorism. Have a peaceful sit in with love and flowers, but including actual terrorists?

    The university needs to cut the electricity for this zoom class and rally.

    • A

      Angelo / May 1, 2024 at 12:50 pm

      My sympathies still lie with the victims of the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack. Of course I don’t want either Israeli or Palestinian civilians to die in this conflict, but the facts remain that Hamas is a terrorist government and a majority of Palestinians elected it. Of course Israel needs to respond decisively. Why POCs have made this conflict about race is beyond me, as it is clearly about religion and physical boundaries. The mixed message that the university president sent on Monday is also unfortunate; if the camp is a violation of policy, why is it being tolerated? Will the university also tolerate others who violate other University policies? These protesters with their terrorist role models are blocking public ways and damaging our beautiful campus buildings. Why is that being tolerated?

  • S

    student / May 1, 2024 at 9:36 am

    The maroon reporters need to do a better job. It is disingenuous journalism to not cover the full story when counter-protesters harass Muslims while they pray Fajr at 5am.

  • P

    Publius / May 1, 2024 at 9:13 am

    It’s time to end this violation of University policies. The participants have communicated their position. They’re now alienating potential allies and reinforcing the worst stereotypes of the protestors and their cause. No action that the university could take will affect the situation in the Middle East. This is all now just grandstanding.

  • A

    Alum / May 1, 2024 at 8:45 am

    A third day rises upon the eldritch assemblage of stench, screeches, blasphemous drumming, and frenzied worship of the occult. O UChicago, fallen how low!

  • A

    Anon Minority / May 1, 2024 at 8:01 am

    Affirmative action.
    Affirmative action.
    Affirmative action.

    Don’t forget how we got here. This is only the beginning.

    How much longer will these diversity admits disgrace themselves and our ancestors? MLK is rolling in his grave.

    First Floyd, and now this. Professional victims. They are primed to imagine oppression where it does not exist. They will do anything but study and earn things on merit.

    I wish I had enough privilege to squander my tuition on imbecilic performances.

  • J

    Jacob Myrene / May 1, 2024 at 7:08 am


    DAY THREE, and not one deodorant bar in sight. The flowers are wilting from the STANK, which has reached cataclysmic levels. Those courageous enough to breach a 2 mile radius of the SWAMP without a hazmat suit have their nostrils assaulted by odors of rotting tuna (IYKYK…all they [REDACTED] reek) … skunk … and, do I smell… excrem—*Foot slips.*


    Meanwhile, their professors have begun to take notice of their absenteeism. (Willing to excuse on the condition that they bathe. HA-HA!)

    Will the administration succeed in getting the STANK out today, or will the Life of the MUSTY endure?

    • S

      Student / May 1, 2024 at 6:10 pm

      Why is the Maroon staff approving such blatantly hateful and bigoted comments?