Students Set Up New Pro-Palestinian Encampment

Students at a Philadelphia college set up an encampment to support the Palestinian cause last week. The event came after a series of anti-Israel protests and a number of disruptions during college graduations.

Protesters established the tent city over the weekend. The decision also followed an attempted student occupation of an academic building at the University of Pennsylvania.

About 75 protesters created the tent city on Saturday with some remaining into Sunday. The students were a portion of hundreds of students who marched from Philadelphia’s City Hall.

Drexel President John Fry said that there were significant concerns “about ensuring everyone’s safety.” He also said that there were “many well-documented instances of hateful speech and intimidating behavior at other campus demonstrations.”

“We will be prepared to respond quickly to any disruptive or threatening behavior by anyone,” he added.

The protesters made a series of demands to the college, including cutting ties to Jewish groups on campus.

The tent city sparked a lockdown on campus.

Over the weekend, some students turned their backs on President Joe Biden during his commencement speech. The valedictorian of the graduating class also made a pro-Palestinian statement.

Several dozen students also walked out of the commencement address given by comedian Jerry Seinfeld earlier this month. Seinfeld has not developed a political persona but recently spoke about his belief that ‘wokeness’ is damaging comedy. Some perceived the walkout as being antisemitic since Seinfeld is Jewish.

Furthermore, there were disruptions at a college graduation in Michigan, where students chanted pro-Palestinian messages and waved flags. Another graduation in Berkeley, California was also disrupted.

The encampment at Drexel is just the latest in a line of tent cities created at different colleges. The first significant one was at Columbia University, which received the most attention. Police and college officials broke up the tent city after numerous warnings.

Following the creation of the tent encampment at Columbia, similar tent cities grew at Harvard and elsewhere. Several Harvard students face academic punishment for their participation in the protests.