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12 pro-Palestinian protesters issued summons after setting up tents inside Tivoli Student Union

Auraria Campus was placed on lockdown for nearly two hours Tuesday. It's the second time the campus has been placed on lockdown in two days.
Pro-Palestinian protesters enter Tivoli Student Union 5-14-24
Auraria Campus encampment 5-14-24
Posted at 12:07 AM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 08:07:40-04

DENVER — Twelve pro-Palestinian protesters were issued summons for trespassing and interference after they set up tents inside the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus Tuesday afternoon.

The Auraria Campus Police Department (ACPD) placed the campus on lockdown for nearly two hours amid the demonstration.

In a statement, campus leaders said protesters entered the student union around 4 p.m. and set up tents inside. The group chanted and banged on trash cans, according to campus officials.

Pro-Palestinian protesters enter Tivoli Student Union 5-14-24

Officials said the building was placed on modified access "out of an abundance of caution." More protesters tried to get into the building but were not allowed in.

ACPD officers warned protesters inside the building that they would be cited if they did not leave, according to campus officials. Some left, but 12 were issued summons for trespassing and interference, Auraria Campus leaders said.

Campus police issued a lockdown at 4:50 p.m. in order to "secure the area and to assess the situation." The lockdown was lifted at 6:20 p.m. and the campus resumed normal operations, except for the Tivoli Student Union, which remained closed Tuesday evening.

"We continue to balance the legal right to free speech with the need to keep our community safe and the campus focused on teaching and learning. This is the second time this week that the Auraria Campus protest behavior has escalated beyond peaceful protest and continues to present operational challenges and disruptions," campus officials said in a statement Tuesday evening.

This is the second time in two days the campus has been placed under a lockdown. On Monday, more than a dozen people marched from the encampment on Tivoli Quad to the CU Denver Student Commons building. The group entered the building and accessed an occupied, restricted space in the Bursar's Office on the fifth floor, according to Auraria Campus officials. Ten protesters were issued a summons for trespassing, interference and disturbing the peace following Monday's demonstration.

Auraria Campus encampment 5-14-24

The protest at the Auraria Campus, which houses the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver, started on April 25 after dozens of students set up camp on the Tivoli Quad lawn. Protesters said they didn't plan on leaving anytime soon until the universities took a public stance in the Israel-Hamas war.

The war started on Oct. 7, 2023, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing 1,139 people. Following the attack, the Israeli government vowed to destroy Hamas and has since killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, around two-thirds of them children and women, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

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