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Demonstrators dismantle Auraria Campus encampment after 3-week protest

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Auraria Campus encampment dismantled 5-17-24
Posted at 10:17 PM, May 17, 2024

DENVER — Demonstrators on Friday night took down their tents 22 days after they established an encampment on the Auraria Campus to protest Israel's military action in Gaza.

Khalid Hamu, an organizer of the encampment, told Denver7 they have broken down the main camp and spread out into smaller sections around the campus. Demonstrators plan on disbanding all camps by tomorrow, according to Hamu.

Hamu called the protest a success and said this is not an end to their movement.

Protests at the campus began as an encampment on Tivoli Quad on April 25. Demonstrators with the group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) gathered to demand that CU cut ties with Israel and fully disclose its financial investments amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. SDS later included MSU Denver in its demands.

Similar protests unfolded at campuses nationwide in the same time frame.

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Denver

Auraria officials: Protests have cost campus $290k, led to 80 arrests

Landon Haaf
5:09 PM, May 16, 2024

The Auraria encampment grew to more than 100 tents and spilled from the quad to surrounding areas, according to Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) spokesperson Devra Ashby.

Auraria Campus officials estimate the pro-Palestinian demonstration has cost the campus as much as $290,000. About 80 people have been issued citations for trespassing since the protests began, with half of those leading to arrests. Only 16 of the arrested are enrolled students at the campus, and three more are faculty or staff members, Ashby said during a Thursday briefing.

Ashby said the $290,000 price tag includes expenses like replacing grass on the quad, safety and officer support, state emergency resources, and events that had to be canceled over safety concerns. One such event was a middle school girls' STEM program scheduled for Thursday that would have brought thousands to the campus, she said.

On Friday, it was announced that all three schools within Denver’s Auraria Campus — University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver — will be switching to remote learning. AHEC officials said all campus buildings will be locked starting Friday at 6 p.m. “until further notice,” adding that all buildings on campus will be restricted to critical personnel and operations. Access to dorms will be badge access only.

While ADL is concerned, Auraria protesters say antisemitism is not welcome at solidarity encampment

Denver

All Auraria Campus schools switching to remote learning due to anti-war protests

Óscar Contreras
5:10 PM, May 17, 2024

The protests escalated this week, with the campus being put on lockdown twice as protesters entered campus buildings. On Monday, 10 protesters were cited for trespassing as a group entered the student commons building and trashed the CU Denver Bursar’s Office. On Tuesday, 12 more were cited as demonstrators set up tents inside the Tivoli Student Union.

“Several acts of trespassing and interference are not examples of peaceful protests,” Ashby said. “We will not tolerate chronic intimidation, campus chaos and business disruptions.”

Concern over “sanitary and hygiene issues” has grown among Auraria officials as the encampment has grown, Ashby added. She said the campus is in contact with law enforcement as well as city and state officials about its response.

Representatives of SDS previously said they would end the Auraria protest if their demands were met. The CU Board of Regents released a statement Thursday saying that while it supported the peaceful protests, it would not be making any policy changes.


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