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Pro-Palestinian activists at Auraria Campus reject offer from anonymous donors

The Auraria Executives Council said a $15,000 donation would be made to the international committee of the Red Cross if the encampment came down by 5 p.m. Thursday.
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Posted at 5:04 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 18:04:13-04

DENVER — Pro-Palestinian activists who have set up an encampment on Denver's Auraria Campus rejected an offer made by a group of anonymous donors and announced by college leaders Thursday.

In a letter to the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which organized the protest, the Auraria Executives Council said a $15,000 donation would be made in SDS's name to the international committee of the Red Cross if the encampment came down by 5 p.m. Thursday. The money would come from a group of anonymous donors.

"A group of donors has come forward with a nonpartisan humanitarian solution to restore order to the Quad by removing the encampment," the council said in its letter.

In addition to the donation, Auraria leadership said it will continue to have set meetings with SDS leadership.

The offer was contingent upon the encampment's removal. If the encampment was not removed by 5 p.m., the deal was off, according to the council.

SDS rejected the offer and said the encampment will remain.

"When I first read this statement, I had to think about it for a while. It's deeply unserious. It's insulting and it's genocidal in its consequences," said Paul Nelson, a student at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. "This is a no donation. This is a bribe."

In a follow-up statement, Auraria leadership said they "remain open to dialogue to explore constructive solutions that address protester concerns within our control. We want to move forward together."

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Pro-Palestinian activists reveal new demands as Auraria Campus encampment grows

Sam Peña
9:00 PM, May 01, 2024

The protest at the Auraria Campus, which houses the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver, started 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.

In Denver, students initially called on CU to divest from corporations that operate in Israel, reject grants and funding from organizations that have military ties with Israel, as well as shut down study abroad programs in the Middle Eastern country. They also demanded that CU Denver fully disclose its financial investments.

During a press conference Wednesday, SDS said it would include Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) in its demands. The group also called on the universities to meet their demands by next week.

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Students at Auraria campus arrested as pro-Palestinian protests continue

Óscar Contreras
1:35 PM, Apr 26, 2024

SDS said the encampment has tripled in size since approximately 40 people were arrested by Auraria Higher Education Center Police and the Denver Police Department. To support the influx, the protesters have set up medical tents, study areas and port-a-potties.

In a statement Monday, CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks said that while she supported "the rights of our students and community members to free speech and to assemble peacefully," the encampments set up by pro-Palestinian protesters at Tivoli Quad were "a different matter," as they violated Auraria campus policy and could cause public health and safety concerns.

The chancellor did not address the demands by pro-Palestinian demonstrators in her statement Monday.

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