Multiple buildings at U of M campus to remain closed Tuesday following pro-Palestine protests

Multiple buildings at U of M campus to remain closed Tuesday following pro-Palestine protests

Multiple buildings at U of M campus to remain closed Tuesday following pro-Palestine protests

Students at the University of Minnesota are trying to call attention to what is happening in Gaza and are urging their schools to cut financial ties with Israel.

Protests at the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis are ongoing, with school officials saying the 12 buildings surrounding the Northrop Mall are closed once again Tuesday due to the activity. CLICK HERE for advisories from the university.

Students were inside their tents on Tuesday morning, and there was no police activity. However, the night before, there were orders given to disperse starting at around 7:30 p.m. and students refused to leave, staying through the night.

A spokesperson for the university told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that campus police officers decided the best approach was to not engage further with the protesters, as arrests have “never been the University’s goal.”

However, the spokesperson said officers made clear to protesters that their tents violated campus policy.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, protests started Monday at around 2 p.m., and tents went back up despite what happened last week, when nine protesters were arrested for that exact same reason.

The university sent a message to students, faculty and staff on Monday, writing they expect protesting to continue on campus in the coming days, urging everyone to remain nonviolent and peaceful.

Organizers of the protest spoke with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS early Tuesday morning, saying they will be out on campus until the school meets their six demands, saying they’re optimistic after the dispersal orders went unenforced Monday night.

According to the organizers, they’ve been in talks with campus leaders. The university spokesperson confirmed that Ettinger’s office has talked with leaders of several student groups with various perspectives and is offering to continue those conversations, which the university says started in the fall, after the current semester ends.

“I’m really hopeful. I feel this cry that students are making across the nation is being heard around the world. I see images of people in Gaza spray painting their tents, ‘thank you students.’ That gives me hope that we are making a difference,” said Fay, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota.

In a statement, the Jewish Community Relations Council says in part that “President Ettinger has a moral and legal obligation to use his voice to specifically condemn and address campus antisemitism”, and that “from the quad to the classroom, the escalating intimidation of Jeish students must end.”

There are Jewish students among the protesters on campuses across the country, as well as the Twin Cities, saying the protests are against the state of Israel’s actions, not against people of the Jewish faith.

CLICK HERE for additional coverage of the War in the Mideast.