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Protesters defy Tuesday deadline to close DU encampment

Participants had until 9 p.m. Tuesday to leave the encampment. Chancellor Jeremy Haefner said university officials "will determine the next steps in moving toward the disbandment of the camp."
DU encampment 5-21-24
Posted at 7:38 PM, May 21, 2024

DENVER — Protesters defied a Tuesday deadline to close an encampment that is currently occupying a portion of the University of Denver campus.

In a letter to the DU community, Chancellor Jeremy Haefner said encampment participants had until 9 p.m. Tuesday to voluntarily disband the encampment and leave the area.

Members of DU for Palestine began occupying the space outside the university’s administrative building on Carnegie Green on May 9. However, over the past several days, "there has been a sharp increase in reports of discriminatory and harassing behavior from individuals both inside and outside the encampment," according to Haefner.

On Sunday, a false emergency call was used to distract DU safety officials and Denver police from an "act of significant vandalism." The incident "forced an urgent re-evaluation of the encampment as a form of safe free expression," according to Haefner.

"As a result, we’ve lost confidence that the encampment can continue without further compromising operations and safety for all campus members," the chancellor said in his letter.

DU for Palestine previously said it would not leave the area until its demands were met. The group is calling for DU to disclose all of its investments; divest from all companies invested in and responsible “for the illegal occupation, apartheid, and genocide of Palestinians”; boycott Israel economically and academically; release a public statement “that acknowledges the ongoing genocide of Palestinians, calls for an immediate ceasefire, and supports an end to the illegal occupation”; and protect free speech on campus.

Protesters defy Tuesday deadline to close DU encampment

In an update issued just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, Haefner said university officials "will determine the next steps in moving toward the disbandment of the camp" in the coming days.

"It is our continued expectation that all encampment participants be affiliated with DU as a current student, faculty, or staff member," Haefner said in his update.

Protesters dismantled a similar encampment on the Auraria Campus following a 3-week protest. Auraria Campus officials estimate the pro-Palestinian demonstration cost the campus as much as $290,000.

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