April 28, 2024 - US university protests (2024)

2:03 a.m. ET, April 29, 2024

Our live coverage of the Pro-Palestinian protests on US campuseshas movedhere.

2:35 a.m. ET, April 29, 2024

Cal Poly Humboldt urges students occupying buildings to “leave campus peacefully now”

From CNN’s Paradise Afshar

April 28, 2024 - US university protests (1)

California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, is asking students participating in demonstrations and the occupation of at least two buildings to “leave campus peacefully.”

“The individuals who are occupying Siemens Hall and Nelson Hall East, or illegally camping around those facilities, are urged to leave the campus peacefully now,” the university said in a release Sunday night.

The request comes a day after the university announced it had closed its campus and moved to remote classes and exams until the end of the semester due to the protests.

Administrators have accused protesters of trying to break into locked buildings "with the intention of either locking themselves in, vandalizing, or stealing equipment.”

If demonstrators leave campus voluntarily, the university said it may consider the choice as a “possible mitigating factor” during conduct proceedings and when deciding what discipline students will face.

“This does not, however, eliminate responsibility for any potential conduct or criminal charges,” the university said.
12:25 a.m. ET, April 29, 2024

Virginia Tech officers tell pro-Palestinian protesters to leave or face arrest

From CNN’s Paradise Afshar

Virginia Tech police have warned pro-Palestinian protesters on campus they will face arrest if they refuse to disperse.

At about 10:15 p.m. on Sunday, university police advised demonstrators to leave within five minutes or be subject to arrest.

Around the same time, the university warned students to avoid the protest site.

“Heavy police activity around Graduate Life Center. Urgent. Please avoid the area. Call 911 for help,” the university posted onsocial media.

Earlier on Sunday, officers had worked to remove demonstrators from an on-campus encampment.

Demonstrators began to occupy the lawn at the university’s Graduate Life Center on Friday, the university said.

“Through constant dialogue between university officials, the Virginia Tech Police Department, and protest organizers, we were able to maintain a safe and peaceful environment through much of the weekend,” the university said.

By Sunday, the university said the situation on campus had “progressed” and had the potential to “become unsafe.”

11:31 p.m. ET, April 28, 2024

About 20 protesters remain at George Washington University as street encampment grows

From CNN's Phillip Wang

April 28, 2024 - US university protests (2)

The number of demonstrators on George Washington University's campus had reduced to about 20 people by Sunday night, but another group erected an encampment of about 20 tents on a nearby public street over the weekend, the school said.

As an encampment grew on campus over the past few days, the university's administration decided students who remained there after being asked to leave would be temporarily suspended and "administratively barred" from school grounds.

"On Friday evening, April 26, demonstrators barred from University Yard established a second encampment in the middle of H Street, beyond the barriers securing GW property.
"Currently, we are aware of approximately 20 tents erected in the street by individuals from across the region. This demonstration is on public property and under the jurisdiction of the DC government," the university said.

The university said there had been no incidents of violence during on-campus demonstrations, though it added, “the actions of some protestors have been highly offensive to many members of our community.”

No further details on the alleged actions were provided.

8:47 p.m. ET, April 28, 2024

Tufts University says encampment"must end" so the school can "celebrate the class of 2024"

From CNN's Michelle Watson and John Murphy

The encampment on Tufts University's Medford-Somerville campus in Massachusetts "must end" for commencement proceedings to proceed, university leaders saidin a Sunday message.

"Tufts has a time-honored tradition of civil protest. Consistent with that tradition, and throughout this academic year, we have balanced our students’ right to protest with enforcing our conduct policies," the message reads. "Over the past two weeks, we have respected our community members’ right to advocate for their beliefs through a small camp site on the academic quad on our Medford/Somerville campus."
"We have even delayed some preparations for Commencement as much as possible to allow the protest to resolve peacefully. But now the encampment must end, ideally peacefully and voluntarily, so we can prepare the campus for Commencement."

Student life staff are expected to reach out to protesters Monday, "to plan for the end of the encampment in the next few days," the message says.

The university went on to say that "recent exchanges have been markedly different as the protesters have sought to escalate and disrupt normal university activity."

The message was signed by university president Sunil Kumar and four other school leaders, including Caroline Attardo Genco, the provost and senior vice president.

"We are committed to maintaining an environment that will allow our students to finish the academic year strong and for the entire community to celebrate the class of 2024 at Commencement without disruptions," the message says.

"Our students and their families and friends deserve nothing less. We invite the entire community to join us in this endeavor peacefully and responsibly."

8:28 p.m. ET, April 28, 2024

RFK Jr. defends protesters' rights but opposes calls for ceasefire

From CNN's Aaron Pellish

April 28, 2024 - US university protests (3)

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr Kennedy told reporters following a campaign rally in Holbrook, New York on Sunday that he supported the rights of pro-Palestinian protesters on college campuses but disagreed with their calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“First of all, you know, I support free speech. I think speech, even when speech is appalling to me, when it's reprehensible, when it makes no sense, people ought to be able to say, ought to be able to voice their concerns,” Kennedy said.

But, he said he doesn’t “understand… what the rationale is” behind calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, though he labeled himself as “very pro-Palestinian.”

“I don't see how people want to have a negotiation,” Kennedy said. “Every ceasefire has been used by Hamas to rearm, to regroup, to raise the banner and do another surprise attack on Israel."

Israeli attacks in Gaza have killed more than 34,000 Palestinians since the start of the war,according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. CNN cannot independently confirm the numbers due to the lack of international media access to Gaza.

Kennedy also called antisemitic threats against Jewish students on campuses “unacceptable” and urged universities to protect Jewish students.

“If they're going to protect people who are non-white from abuse because it makes them feel unsafe, they need to do that with Jewish students, too,” he said.

6:36 p.m. ET, April 28, 2024

Screaming and scuffles between opposing protest groups at UCLA after demonstrators cross barrier

From CNN’s Sarah Moon and Camila Bernal at UCLA

April 28, 2024 - US university protests (4)

Demonstratorson Sundaybreached a security barrier meant to keep opposing protest groups apart on the UCLA campus, and the two sides have comeface-to-face, at times screaming at one another and shoving back and forth.

A CNN team is on the ground watching the crowd, where pro-Palestinian demonstrators have gathered to support anencampment protesting Israel's military campaignin Gaza, and a group of counter-protesters draped in Israeli flags has erected a video screen and speaker set-up.

“Very high passions on both sides, and when these two come together we have seen confrontations,” CNN’s Camila Bernal reported from the campus. “People who are screaming at each other, sometimes shoving and pushing, and it does get violent at times.”

Organizers from each group have told Bernal that they are trying to keep the peace.

The CNN team has seen police officers in riot gear standing at a distancefromthe crowd, but university officials have said police will not intervene unless they feel students are in harm’s way.

The school’s vice chancellor for strategic communications, Mary Osako, confirmed in a statement that demonstrators had “breached” a barrier between the groups, and that there were “physical altercations” between protesters.

“UCLA has a long history of being a place of peaceful protest, and we are heartbroken about the violence that broke out,” the statement reads.

Information about any potential injuries has not been made available.

Watch Camila Bernal's report from the UCLA campus

This post has been updated with additional reporting from the UCLA campus.

11:16 p.m. ET, April 28, 2024

Students remain in encampment blocking a street at George Washington University for 4th day of protests

From CNN’s Avery Lotz

April 28, 2024 - US university protests (5)

Pro-Palestinian protests continued Sunday on George Washington University’s campus in Washington, DC, where demonstrators have erected an encampment of dozens of tents in a park and on the neighboring street.

A crowd chanted “Free Palestine” to the beat of a drum on H Street NW, some of them wearing traditional keffiyeh and waving Palestinian flags. The street remains blocked by law enforcement, and a number of DC Metropolitan Police officers remain in the area.

Flags, signs and sidewalk chalk decorate the encampment, where protestors say they will stay until the university fulfills their demands, which include disclosing its financial endowments and divesting from Israeli associations — similar to the message of many other college protests nationwide.

One counter-protester walked through the crowd with an Israeli flag draped around her shoulders. Demonstrators chanted, “Free, free, free Palestine,” at the protester, while one held a sign that read, “Genocide is bad.”

1:33 a.m. ET, April 29, 2024

Sanders says it's not antisemitic to hold Israeli government accountable for its actions in Gaza

April 28, 2024 - US university protests (6)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pushed back onIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claimthat protests on US college campuses are driven by antisemitism, telling CNN’s Dana Bash that it’s critical to hold the Israeli government accountable for its actions in Gaza.

In the interview on Sunday morning, Sanders said the “vast majority of the American people are disgusted with Netanyahu’s war machine in Gaza” and do not want more aid sent to Israel.

While Sanders said he acknowledges “antisemitism exists and is growing in the United States,” he said it is not antisemitic for protesters to hold Netanyahu accountable for his actions in Gaza, which he says are “unprecedented in the modern history of warfare.”

Sanders said Israel's widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure in Gaza, and the death toll of more than 30,000 people, according to the enclave's health ministry, is the reason people want the Israeli government held accountable.

“When you make those charges, that is not antisemitic, that is a reality,” the senator told Bash.

Sanders said he condemns Hamas, antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry, but emphasized again, “We do have to pay attention to the disastrous and unprecedented humanitarian disaster taking place in Gaza right now.”

Watch a clip from the interview below:

April 28, 2024 - US university protests (2024)
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