Pro-Palestinian protesters set up encampment on Pomona College graduation stage

City News Service
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Protesters set up encampment on Pomona College graduation stage
Monday's action came about a month after 19 students were arrested while taking part in a sit-in at the university president's office.

CLAREMONT, Calif. (CNS) -- Several dozen pro-Palestinian protesters have set up an encampment on and around the Pomona College commencement stage and are vowing Tuesday to remain in place and block graduation activities unless the college commits to divestment from Israeli-tied companies and weapons manufacturers.

The encampment at the campus, located in Claremont, cropped up around 5 a.m. Monday.

"Students are prepared to defend the encampment until their demands are met, and call upon the college to heed the overwhelming support for divestment in their community," according to a statement from an organizing group known as Pomona Divest from Apartheid.

Pomona College officials issued a statement in response saying, "Our students, faculty, staff and alumni hold a range of viewpoints. Throughout the year, college leaders have offered to meet with student protesters and will continue to do so. We will promote safety for all members of our community and pursue our educational mission, considering the full range of viewpoints."

Pomona College
Pro-Palestinian protesters set up an encampment on and around the Pomona College commencement stage and are vowing to remain in place and block graduation activities.
KABC

Monday's action came about a month after 19 students were arrested while taking part in a sit-in at the university president's office.

In a statement released after that action in early April, Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr said some activists on the campus had refused to identify themselves and "proceeded to verbally harass staff, even using a sickening, anti-Black racial slur in addressing an administrator." Starr said an occupation that was established on the campus violated policies, but "as we have expressed in the past, we work with students who are exercising their right to protest unless that protest impedes on the rights of others. In addition, we require all individuals on campus to identify themselves upon request by campus administrators or Campus Safety. This is imperative for the safety of our community, especially when these individuals are masked."

43 protesters arrested at UCLA, as school shifts classes to remote for the week

Forty-three protesters were arrested on the third floor of a UCLA parking structure for "conspiracy to commit burglary," authorities said Monday.

In announcing the latest protest action Monday, organizers urged Starr not to engage in what they call "unrelenting repression."

"In April, Starr called in 30+ riot police to arrest 20 students, 19 of whom were staging a sit-in at Alexander Hall to protest the college's forceful removal of a mock apartheid wall from Marston Quad," according to the group. "Students are urging the college not to repeat their mistakes. Gabi Starr, do not opt for violence again. Listen to your community. The choice is yours."