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13 Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested at Stanford After Occupying President’s Office

13 Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested at Stanford After Occupying President’s Office

Students walk by graffiti near university president Richard Saller's office at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on June 5, 2024. (Nic Coury/AP Photo)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

6/5/2024

Updated: 6/5/2024

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Clashes between protesters and authorities at Stanford University on June 5 resulted in 13 arrests as the Northern California campus became the latest battleground in the pro-Palestinian movement.
Local county sheriff’s deputies joined Stanford’s Department of Public Safety officers who intervened after about a dozen demonstrators barricaded themselves inside the office of the school’s president while issuing a series of demands through social media Wednesday.
Police used a crowbar to enter the occupied building about two hours after the protest began. A public safety officer was injured by protesters during the response, according to University President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez.
The Stanford University administrators said they were “deeply saddened” by the events and condemned the actions in a statement Wednesday afternoon. The student protesters faced immediate suspensions following the arrests.
“In addition to going through the law enforcement process, any arrested individuals who are students will be immediately suspended,” the administrators wrote in the statement. “Any who are seniors will not be allowed to graduate.”
The actions were taken based on the public safety threat posed to the campus community, according to the administrators.
Protesters broke into and occupied a building early Wednesday morning, damaging property and leaving extensive graffiti vandalism on the sandstone buildings and columns of the main quad, according to officials.
The graffiti “conveys vile and hateful sentiments that we condemn in the strongest terms,” the university president and provost said. “Whether the graffiti was created by members of the Stanford community or outsiders, we expect that the vast majority of our community joins us in rejecting this assault on our campus.”
The group reportedly responsible for Wednesday’s events, called Liberate Stanford, is aligned with the international movement in favor of a ceasefire in Gaza as the clash with Israel continued this week.
A woman representing Liberate Stanford concealed her identity with sunglasses, a black mask, and a keffiyeh, a black and white scarf synonymous with Palestinians, in a video recorded in the university president’s office. She demanded the president endorse a divestment from companies linked to Israel’s war in Gaza.
The protesters also demanded the university release its 2022 financial year investments, and provide amnesty for all students involved in the protest.
“If these demands are met, we will leave your office,” she said. “We demand divestment now.”
The group posted pleas on Instagram for donations for those arrested Wednesday.
The Stanford Department of Public Safety will continue to investigate Wednesday’s events.
The university also removed an encampment at White Plaza. The encampment violated a number of university policies, according to officials. Students involved in the encampment face disciplinary actions for violating school policy.
“The situation on campus has now crossed the line from peaceful protest to actions that threaten the safety of our community,” the president and provost said in the statement.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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