Pro-Palestinian protest continue at Penn; organizers in Princeton begin hunger strike

Friday, May 3, 2024
Protests continue at Penn; organizers in Princeton begin hunger strike
Pro-Palestinian protest continue at Penn; organizers in Princeton begin hunger strike

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A pro-Palestinian protest on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania stretched into a ninth day.

Protesters, who have set up an encampment, want the Ivy League school to divest from any company with financial ties to Israel.

The group of protesters is made up of students from Penn, Drexel University, Temple University and other organizations.

According to Penn's website, to divest, a company must have a "significant, clear, and undeniable nexus to the moral evil."

"Our core message is that the Israeli apartheid state is committing genocide in Gaza and we would consider that morally reprehensible," said one protester on Friday.

Penn stated last week the encampment violated school policy, including harassment and intimidation, and warned protesters to clear out immediately.

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On Thursday, the Philadelphia chapter of the Israeli-American Council (IAC), delivered petitions to Interim President J. Larry Jameson's office, urging the school to follow through.

Penn has opened several student disciplinary cases through the Center for Community Standards.

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Governor Josh Shapiro, who visited Philadelphia on Friday to speak about gun violence, also weighed in.

"I would say to the leadership at the University of Pennsylvania or any college or university leadership across Pennsylvania, you have not only a moral obligation but a legal obligation to keep your students safe and free from discrimination," said Shapiro.

And in Princeton, New Jersey Friday, organizers of the Gaza solidarity encampment there confirmed to Action News they began a hunger strike, calling on the university to divest.

Penn asked the city for resources to help keep the community safe. Philadelphia police officers remain on the campus. No arrests have been made.