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Pro-Palestinian protesters to meet with Johns Hopkins University leaders as encampment continues

BALTIMORE — Pro-Palestinian protesters are expected to meet with Johns Hopkins University leaders Tuesday, nine days after setting up an encampment on the Baltimore school’s campus.

Protest organizers and school officials could discuss a possible resolution, but demonstrators said they don’t plan to leave until their requests are met.

In a message to students Sunday, the university said officials attempted to meet with protesters over the weekend, but declined to schedule one until Tuesday afternoon.

However, WJZ spoke to student protesters who say they are unsure about that meeting, and the provost said protesters told him they plan to camp out over the next few weeks.

“We feel the university is still not communicating in the best faith possible and we would like more clarity so we can both meet our needs,” said student Savannah. told WJZ.

Hopkins Provost Ray Jayawardhana said in a statement Monday that he was concerned about security risks posed by the encampment and alluded to outside agitators.

“We recognize the intentions and efforts of our student protesters to manage the site safely; However, as we have seen at other universities, encampments attract individuals from outside the campus community who are not under the control of protesters and who may seek conflict and escalation. -he declares.

In a grassy area of ​​campus known as the Beach, protesters set up tents last week in what is called a “liberated area” of the “JHU Palestinian solidarity camp.”

The group calls on JHU to:

  • “Divest financially from the Israeli occupation of Palestine”
  • “Provide an honest and full account of its complicity in crimes committed against Palestinians, as a first step towards transparency”
  • “Cease all partnership with the Israeli military-industrial educational complex”
  • “Total demilitarization of Johns Hopkins, including the PLA and the Johns Hopkins Police Department”
  • “End the silence on the Palestinian genocide and the silencing of pro-Palestinian discourse”

The university warned protesters it would take disciplinary and legal action if anyone violated campus security rules, but no arrests were reported Tuesday.

In the meantime, the university is checking school IDs at certain entrances to campus buildings and residence halls.

The last day of the semester is only 12 days away and graduation is scheduled for May 23.

Universities differ in their approach to encampments across the country

The Johns Hopkins encampment is one of dozens that have opened on college campuses across the country in the past month.

Universities have different approaches when it comes to how to clean camps. Some institutions continue negotiations, while others resort to force and ultimatums which have led to clashes with the police.

More than 100 demonstrators were forcibly deported and arrested last week on the campus of Columbia University in New York, where the camp protests began. Monday, the university canceled its main launch ceremony.

Dozens of people were arrested during protests at universities in Texas, Utah and Virginia. Violence broke out at UCLA in California where pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups broke through a physical barrier.

Northwestern University, near Chicago, said reached an agreement students and professors representing the majority of protesters. It authorizes peaceful demonstrations until the end of spring classes, but only one humanitarian tent can remain set up.