Cops Tell UPenn They're Not Touching Encampment

At least not yet, per the department, saying there's no 'imminent danger' from pro-Palestinian protest
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2024 6:34 AM CDT
Philly Cops to UPenn: We're Not Dismantling Encampment
An officer stands outside a Gaza solidarity encampment at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Amid the pro-Palestinian protests happening at college campuses around the nation, "all eyes" in Philly have been trained on the encampment at the University of Pennsylvania, where protests and counterprotests about the war in Gaza have been taking place since last month. The demonstrators have said they won't leave until the school meets demands to reveal its financial ties to Israel and to divest itself of them, and on Thursday, the school reached out to the city of Philly "to ensure we have the necessary resources to keep our community safe," including a request to disband the encampment, per CBS Philadelphia and the Daily Philadelphian. The Philadelphia PD, however, has so far declined that request to head to Penn's campus, indicating Thursday that they won't intervene until there's proof that the encampment poses an "imminent danger."

A police rep says that although they're not at liberty to reveal specific plans on how they plan to handle the encampment, for "tactical purposes," officers are at the ready to help campus police "as needed." "The PPD remains committed to facilitating safe demonstrations while ensuring the safety and upholding the First Amendment rights of all who live, work, or visit our city," the spokesman said in a statement. "Our response will be based on the specific circumstances of each situation." Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, as the "game of cat and mouse" on campus between protesters and the administration continues, Penn has remained tight-lipped on how it plans on handling this month's commencement celebrations. (More 2024 campus protests stories.)

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