University of Rochester Students Call for Reversal of Ban on Students Peacefully Protesting on Campus

The following is a press release from students at University of Rochester:

Beginning on Tuesday morning, University of Rochester Students for Justice in Palestine and Students for a Democratic Society took a stand and carried out an encampment to demand that the University fully divest from all academic ties to the apartheid state of Israel, and release a statement calling for a ceasefire to end the suffering of  Palestinians in Gaza. This action was not taken lightly but was driven by a deep sense of moral obligation to stand in solidarity with the oppressed people of Gaza, Palestine. Our encampment symbolizes the struggles of millions of Palestinians in Gaza who have been forced to live in tents and sleeping bags after losing their homes due to the ongoing genocide and forced displacement committed by Israel.

Unfortunately, UR has responded to students with dishonesty, threats and repression.  We have seen a surge of bans being imposed on UR students restricting freedom of movement on their own campus. These bans have been implemented in an effort to dismantle the encampment, prevent negotiations, and deter us from continuing our peaceful protest, enabling the University to evade accountability. 

Five days into our encampment, our reasonable demands to the University of Rochester Administration remain. We continue to call on UR Administration to: (1) join the City of Rochester and Universities across the country in Calling for a ceasefire, and (2) fully divest from all academic ties to the state of Israel. Until the demands are met, or we are forcibly removed, we will remain peacefully on the Eastman Quad, drawing attention to the University of Rochester’s support of apartheid and genocide. Additionally we are now calling upon the University to lift these unreasonable bans and allow us to continue our peaceful protest. 

Finally, we share our deepest gratitude with our fellow students, faculty members, alumni, elected officials and the larger Rochester community for standing with us, and for their commitment to the movement for a Free Palestine.  

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