Pro-Palestinian protestors demand Drexel divest from Israel as encampment enters second day | The Triangle

Pro-Palestinian protestors demand Drexel divest from Israel as encampment enters second day

Photo by Samuel Gregg | The Triangle

The Gaza Solidarity Encampment entered its second day on Drexel’s Korman Quad. Protesters set up the tents on Saturday, May 18 at around 5 p.m. and have been there since.

While existing protesters are free to leave, access to Korman Quad is restricted and no one else can enter the encampment according to police on scene. Legal observers, medics and police liaisons were still allowed to come and go from the encampment.

Around 25 protesters remained in Korman Quad on Sunday, down from around 50 on Saturday night at around 6 p.m. Around five Drexel University Police officers and around 10 Philadelphia Police Officers stood on the outside of a perimeter fence erected around the Quad. 

A media spokesperson for the protest stated their demands from Drexel were as follows: “We’re demanding that Drexel University immediately divest from partnerships with Israeli state institutions and non-Israeli entities that fund and uphold the system of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians.” 

The protesters plan to stay until their demands are met by Drexel. 

Police on scene, as well as the protesters, confirmed that there had not yet been an order from law enforcement to disperse. Drexel’s campus remains on lockdown as of 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19. 

Several students stopped by the edge of the encampment, some bringing supplies such as food and water. Over the course of the afternoon a handful of students stopped to complain to the police as well as to the protesters about the lockdown on campus.

Photo by Samuel Gregg | The Triangle

When asked about the lockdown, the media spokesperson for the protest responded: “Students, you have a right to be annoyed because you are entitled to these amenities that the institution provides to you, you pay tuition. You should have access to these things, and it is totally on the University’s decision to close these down. You can see here, we’re pretty self-contained here.” 

In an email sent to students and signed by President John Fry, Senior Vice President for Student Success Subir Sahu and Vice President of Public Safety Mel Singleton, they stated: “We will not tolerate the destruction of property; the harassment or intimidation of our students, faculty or professional staff; or threatening behavior of any kind, including speech that is explicitly racist, antisemitic, or Islamophobic, that creates a hostile environment for members of our community based on race, color, national origin, religious affiliation, or shared ancestry.”