UPenn: Another Encampment Cleared, Larry Krasner Hardest Hit

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

This morning the University of Pennsylvania called in police to clear out a pro-Palestinian encampment which had been in place for more than two weeks.

The officers moved in during the early morning hours before daybreak on Friday, May 10, following rain overnight. NBC10 was live at the scene just after 5:30 a.m. as dozens of police officers on bike and foot moved in and gave the protesters a 2-minute warning to leave the campus or face possible arrests.

The officers -- many of whom wore tactical gear -- then moved in to form a semi-circle around the encampment and take down several tents. While some of the protesters left, dozens remained in front of the Ben Franklin statue on Penn's college green, refusing to move while chanting and linking arms.

About three dozen students remained around the Ben Franklin statue and refused to leave. Police then moved in and removed them one at a time, some screamed and chanted as they were led away. However, there appeared to be no violent outbursts.


The decision to clear the campus came a day after Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro called for it to be disbanded. Gov. Shapiro's comments came after six students involved in the camp were suspended from the school.

Six Penn students say they were sent emails from the University informing them they were officially "on leave" from the Ivy League institution for their part in the recent pro-Palestinian protests on campus.

"In extraordinary circumstances, when a student’s presence on campus is deemed by the University to be a threat to order, health, safety or the conduct of the University’s educational mission" read the email in part sent by the University Provost to student protester Sonya Stacia. The junior from Virginia says she informed her parents of the news in a phone call...

The disciplinary move happened as the two-week encampment expanded to the other side of the College Green. Governor Josh Shapiro called for the encampment to shut down, saying the situation over the last 24 hours has become more unstable.

"More rules have been broken. Laws have been violated. That is absolutely unacceptable. All students should feel safe when they’re on campus. All students have a legal right to feel safe on campus," Shapiro said.

This morning the school's interim president published an explanation for his decision on the school's website. Here's a portion of it.


We have worked with serious intention for nearly two weeks to engage the protestors on College Green, who were notified on April 26th—the second day of the encampment—that they were in violation of Penn’s policies. This outreach has been met by unreasonable demands and a dangerous escalation of the encampment.

Our community has been under threat and our campus disrupted for too long. Passion for a cause cannot supersede the safety and operations of our University. Early this morning, we took action, with support from local law enforcement, to remove the encampment...

The protestors refused repeatedly to disband the encampment, to produce identification, to stop threatening, loud, and discriminatory speech and behavior, and to comply with instructions from Penn administrators and Public Safety. Instead, they called for others to join them in escalating their disruptions and expanding their encampment, necessitating that we take action to protect the safety and rights of everyone in our community. We could not allow further disruption of our academic mission. We could not allow students to be prevented from accessing study spaces and resources, attending final exams, or participating in Commencement ceremonies, which for many did not happen during the pandemic...

We also made clear that the encampment needed to disband and offered ways in which the protestors could continue their demonstration in compliance with our policies. We proposed, and still hope to deploy, Penn’s academic resources to support rebuilding and scholarly programs in Gaza, Israel, and other areas of the Middle East. Despite diligent efforts to find a path forward, the gap between the positions of many in the encampment and the University proved too wide to bridge in this volatile environment, while the risks to our community and our missions continued to increase...

Open expression and peaceful protest are welcome on our campus, but vandalism, trespassing, disruption, and threatening language and actions are not.


Note the reference to "threatening language" above. I strongly suspect that people in the administration saw this video, which was posted last week by a Jewish student at UPenn, and that it had an impact on this decision.

A very similar video, also taken at UPenn, was posted this week.

If you act like thugs, you'll get treated like thugs, i.e. the police will be called. Here's some additional video of the campus being cleared this morning.


When police tried to drive away with those they had arrested a small group of UPenn professors blocked the street.

They were led away by police but were not arrested once police found out they were professors. The student group behind the protest released a statement about the end of their encampment. It's difficult to overstate how delusional and arrogant these people are. The really think that the encampment was the real school at UPenn and everyone else is just attending a compromised fake institution.


What a load of Marxist claptrap.

Naturally they ended the thread with a threat.

Finally, it's worth nothing that progressive DA Larry Krasner made a point of visiting the camp last week and said it was "stupid" for the NYPD to arrest protesters at Columbia:

Krasner made the remarks Wednesday while visiting the University of Pennsylvania’s "Gaza Solidarity Encampment," where organizers have defied the administration's orders to disperse.

"The First Amendment comes from here, this is Philadelphia, we don’t have to do stupid like they did at Columbia," Krasner told UPenn's student newspaper. "What we should be doing here is upholding our tradition of being a welcoming, inviting city, where people say things, even if other people don’t like them."


Krasner appeared again this morning after the camp was cleared to assure everyone that nothing much will happen to those who were arrested, some of whom have already been released.

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