“Palestine solidarity encampment” continues, police increase response overnight

The Pitt News, 06/03/24: “The ‘Palestine solidarity encampment’ on the Cathedral of Learning lawn is entering its second day, despite a more active response from police Sunday night and Monday morning. The protesters are demanding that Pitt ‘disclose and divest’ from all ties to Israel during its ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza.

Pitt chancellor Joan Gabel issued a statement at 2:30 p.m. today in which she addressed the Pitt community regarding the protests. Gabel said her goal is for a “peaceful resolution,” and that she maintains her support for free speech.

‘Now more than ever, we want to express our commitment to free expression and critical inquiry as core to our mission and key to a vibrant university environment,’ Gabel said.

Gabel also claimed that many of the protesters do not have ties to the University, saying that ‘none of these leaders [of the demonstration] are students, and their affiliations are with organizations that have no connection with the University in any capacity.’

The Pitt News is unable to verify Gabel’s statements regarding encampment leaders’ affiliations with Pitt at this time.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night, police began constructing metal barricades around the protesters’ own wooden barricades. Some of the protesters are accusing the police of attempting to block food and water supplies from going into the encampment. Pitt Students for Justice in Palestine posted in an Instagram story that the police were ‘blocking food and water and trying to encircle the camp.’ Six different police departments were present at last night’s demonstration, including campus, city, county and state agencies, as well as Carnegie Mellon and Carlow police, according to University spokesperson Jared Stonesifer.”

Read the full article here.