Thirteen protesters arrested at Stanford

June 6, 2024
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Thirteen Pro-Palestinian protesters at Stanford University were arrested Wednesday after they barricaded themselves in interim president Richard Saller’s office, demanding divestment from companies that do business in Israel, among other things.

Detainees face immediate suspension, according to a statement from university officials. A student journalist who was on site to cover the demonstration for The Stanford Daily was among those detained.

Around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, about 10 students stormed the office, located just off the campus’s main quad. Once inside, they barricaded the doors with bike locks, chains, ladders and chairs, covering the security cameras with tin foil, The Daily reported. Outside, another 50 students surrounded the building with arms linked to create a shield. Some spray-painted “Our office now,” on the windows, chanting, “Palestine will be free. We will free Palestine.”

The demonstrators planned to remain in place until the university met their demands, which included consideration of a divestment bill at the next Board of Trustees meeting, a letter from Saller supporting the bill, disclosure of all endowment investments in fiscal year 2022 and amnesty for all pro-Palestinian students who have protested in recent months.

Campus security arrived quickly on the scene, where they were soon joined by county sheriff’s officers. The arrested students were escorted away in vans.

Administrators sent a series of messages to the campus community, first alerting people to stay away from the area and then announcing the arrests. Due to extensive damage both inside and outside the building, the office was closed for the rest of the day.

“All arrested students will be immediately suspended and in case any of them are seniors, they will not be allowed to graduate,” one of the later messages said.

Wednesday is the last day of classes for the spring quarter. Graduation ceremonies are set for June 15 and 16.

“We are appalled and deeply saddened by the actions that occurred on our campus earlier today,” interim president Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez said in a joint statement later that day. “In addition to damage done inside the building, protesters committed extensive graffiti vandalism on the sandstone buildings and columns of the Main Quad … We expect that the vast majority of our community joins us in rejecting this assault on our campus.”

The incident follows the administration’s termination of a 120-day sit-in on a campus plaza in February and of an encampment established in White Plaza in April.



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