Live Updates: CPD, Public Safety raids encampment on LPC Quad

Last updated 12:40 p.m.
Pro-Palestine protestors chant at a row of Chicago Police Department near the intersection of Seminary and Fullerton by a gas station May 16, 2024. Officers formed a line to block access to the Quad while the encampment was cleared.
Pro-Palestine protestors chant at a row of Chicago Police Department near the intersection of Seminary and Fullerton by a gas station May 16, 2024. Officers formed a line to block access to the Quad while the encampment was cleared.
Claire Tweedie

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DePaul Divest Coalition and Students for Justice in Palestine launched an encampment on the Quad Tuesday morning. About 30 protesters set up roughly 15 tents outside University Hall and Richardson Library at 10:00 a.m. 

A sign in front of the encampment reads “Jesus Died For Our Sins, Palestinian Kids are Dying for Our Profits,” and another reads “DePaul Liberation Zone.”

The move comes as students across the country protest their universities’ involvement in the Israel-Hamas war, with some students facing arrests. Since mid-April, protesters have set up similar encampments at universities across the country, including Columbia University and Harvard University. Other universities in Illinois, such as Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, also established encampments in recent days.

Within the first 20 minutes of the encampment forming, Director of Public Safety Bob Wachowski was spotted near the Quad speaking to other University Employees. 

As the organizers set up camp, DPU Divest Coalition and Students for Justice in Palestine (SPJ) DePaul created an Instagram post containing its demands, which includes:

  • Acknowledge the ongoing genocide and “scholasticide” in Gaza.
  • Disclose investments, budgets, and holdings up the university with the greater DePaul community.
  • Divest from companies that advance Palestinian suffering and profit off the occupation.
  • Join the city of Chicago in calling for a ceasefire.
  • Eliminate study abroad trips to “Israel” that discriminate and normalize Israel’s occupation.
  • Establish an ethical advisory team on investment responsibility that included students, faculty, and staff.

Following the encampment’s creation, the office of DePaul’s president, Robert L. Manuel, sent an email to the university community, acknowledging its existence and urging students to keep the demonstration nonviolent.

“Again, peaceful protest long has been a legitimate means of expression at DePaul,” the email read. “As an institution of higher education, we teach our students to engage in civil, meaningful discussion. In this moment, we are balancing the rights of our students to voice their opinions and the needs to operate a safe environment for all constituents of the university — faculty, staff, and students alike. We have the obligation to ensure the university can continue to maintain an environment that is conducive to academic success.”  

It also said that instances of violence, harassment, intimidation and other actions that interfere with university operations will lead to immediate disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion.

The University’s Guiding Principles for Speech and Expression permits students to protest peacefully. However, the university’s protest guidelines state that “all demonstrations and other similar events on or adjacent to campus must be orderly and peaceful. Such events may not impede passage, may not create excessive noise, or may not interfere with the business operations of the university.” 

Monday night, April 29, an open letter circulated among DePaul faculty asking the university to respect students, faculty and staff’s right to freedom of speech and recognize the urgency surrounding the “current humanitarian crisis.”


Live Updates:

Day 17 – 4:23 p.m.

The Richardson Library announced that it will close early at 6:00 p.m. today, and 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. The Library’s normal week day hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. till midnight.

—Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


Day 17- 2:20 p.m.

The Chicago Police Department’s communications team released a series of statements regarding the Thursday morning dismantling of DePaul’s 17-day encampment on the Quad.

The statements indicate that DePaul did not officially sign a trespassing complaint until this morning.

Once this complaint was signed, CPD “worked with the DePaul University administration” to start dismantling the encampment.

Dispersal orders were issued multiple times by DePaul leadership, according to the CPD. Following this, the CPD issued their own dispersal orders, leading to “individuals inside the encampment voluntarily” leaving the Quad.

The CPD confirmed that the encampment was “vacated” without arrest, and posts on X encouraged referring to DePaul for “any further information.”

The communications team said in their X (formerly Twitter) statement that “no arrests were made in relation to the encampment dispersal,” but did confirm that two individuals were placed into custody in the 1100 block of W. Belden for “obstruction of the roadway.”

These two individuals are a current DePaul student and a former DePaul student, and were “cited with obstruction of traffic by non-motorist” and have been released following their placement in custody at 6:20 a.m.

Lucia Preziosi, News Editor 

Day 17 – 12:30 p.m. 

Kristin Claes Mathews, Sr. Director, Strategic Communications at DePaul University told The DePaulia in response to a request for comment that “the administration assured students it would not call CPD to the quad for noise violations. However, the university has been clear from the outset of the encampment that campus safety was a top priority.”

She said in an email that after negotiations between the university and encampment organizers reached a stalemate last week, DePaul made the “difficult decision” to remove the encampment, also citing the discovery of weapons on the quad as concerning instances that sparked the removal. 

Mathews also specified that one student arrested this morning for obstruction of traffic was a current DePaul student, while the other person arrested was a former DePaul student. 

As for the estimated $180,000 in damage to the Quad mentioned in Manuel’s first email this morning, Mathews said DePaul’s facility operations “calculated the estimated damage to the quad through visual assessment. The final number may change as they now have gained access for closer inspection.”

See full story detailing this morning’s developments here.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor and Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


Day 17 — 12:00 p.m. 

In a follow-up email from the Office of President Robert Manuel at 11:37 a.m. confirmed that “no one inside the encampment was arrested” and that the two individuals were arrested this morning by CPD “for obstructing traffic on Belden Ave.”

The email reiterated that protestors were given the chance to leave voluntarily and said that any items left behind would be discarded.

Manuel said he believes the encampment started as a positive effort at peaceful protest, but contended that it morphed into an “unsafe environment” that disrupted the university and the DePaul neighborhood. 

The email included links to the over 1,000 registered complaints from “deeply upset faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and neighbors – all requesting that the encampment end.”

“While peaceful protest and dissension should continue, the encampment could not,” the second email concluded. 

See full story detailing this morning’s developments here.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 17 — 8:15 a.m. 

CPD held a press conference at the corner of Belden and Seminary at about 7:30 a.m. to address the ongoing situation on the Quad. 

Officer Jon Hein, CPD Chief of Patrol, addressed the crowd of reporters as a ‘CAT Loader’ scooped up leftover tarps and tents from the encampment in the background. 

Hein said DePaul administration and CPD issued multiple dispersal orders for those in the encampment to leave or be arrested. 

He said those encamped left the Quad voluntarily. 

A male and a female demonstrator, ages 21 and 25, were arrested for “obstruction of traffic,” according to Hein. He did not specify if those arrested were students. 

Hein maintained that there were no violent confrontations between CPD and demonstrators. However, The DePaulia witnessed a CPD officer shoving a demonstrator and removing her hijab.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 17 – 5:40 a.m. 

CPD officers arrived on DePaul’s Quad at around 5:30 a.m. this morning per the university’s instructions, to tear down the encampment on the dawn of its 17th day. 

The Office of President Robert Manuel sent an email early Thursday morning explaining that “despite good faith intentions,” negotiations with the DePaul Divest Coalition had halted and the encampment would thus be taken down. 

“Our Office of Public Safety and Chicago Police are now disassembling the encampment. Every person currently in the encampment will be given the opportunity to leave peacefully and without being arrested. I urge all there to leave peacefully and return home,” the email read. Officers then told a crowd of about 20 encampment members chanting in the quad that they must “vacate DePaul property or you are subject to arrest.”

The lingering pro-Palestinian protestors did so, as CPD officers advanced in riot gear towards Belden and Seminary ave. 

Currently, CPD officers remain in a line blocking the entrance to the Quad on Seminary ave. 

Many protesters formerly encamped appear to have vacated the premises.

The email from President Manuel concluded by noting that the Quad and all other green spaces on the Lincoln Park Campus will be closed until further notice.

“Anyone who tries to breach the fence around the quad or any of the green spaces on the Lincoln Park Campus will be trespassed, arrested, and suspended. DePaul will continue to investigate every reported complaint of harassment or discrimination that we receive resulting from the encampment or subsequent events,” the email read.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor and Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


Day 16 – 3:40 p.m.

On Wednesday, the DePaul Divestment Coalition and Students for Justice in Palestine staged a demonstration encouraging students to walk out of their classes in solidarity with Palestinians and to continue to call on the university to divest.

The walkout was held on the anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” where more than 700,000 Palestinians were violently displaced during the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. 

Around one hundred students gathered in the center of the encampment where various speeches were given from different coalitions in support of the encampment’s goals. 

Emily, a DePaul student and co-president of MESA DePaul, took the mic to explain what she characterized as the parallels between how Palestinians are treated under Israeli occupation and how undocumented people are treated in the United States. 

She said no one is free until all people, including Palestinians and undocumented people, are free. 

“We all are in a transnational fight for solidarity with each other,” Emily said. 

Trudy, president of the Environmental Community Organizers (ECO) DePaul emphasized that climate justice is social justice. 

She said ECO fully supports the encampment because “colonization is the root of the climate crisis.”

The encampment’s media liaison, Henna Ayesh, took to the microphone to reiterate the lack of negotiations with the DePaul administration, along with the cancellation of FEST.

“DePaul did cancel their festival,” Ayesh said, followed by an eruption of applause from the crowd. “They framed it as the encampment’s fault for the festival being canceled.”

Ayesh recognized the disappointment that students may feel about FEST’s cancellation, she said students must redirect their anger to DePaul administration rather than the ongoing encampment. 

— Lucia Preziosi, News Editor & Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor




Day 15 – 7:30 p.m.

As the fifteenth day of the encampment comes to a close, media liaison Henna Ayesh reflected on the recent news that FEST – DePaul’s annual end of year concert on the Quad – has been canceled. 

Ayesh said the university, not the encampment’s persistent presence on the Quad, is solely to blame for the cancellation.

“I would have loved to see FEST happen, I don’t have anything against it, but I think instead of (the university) taking accountability for the mess that they caused, they’re kind of deflecting it onto us,” Ayesh said.

She reiterated that if the university agreed to the DePaul Divestment Coalition’s demands, principle among which is divestment from companies related to Israel, then the encampment would end and FEST could have proceeded. 

Since the university and the coalition reached an impasse in negotiations, she said the encampment is not coming down any time soon. 

Nevertheless, Ayesh said the coalition wants to continue negotiations with the university and has tried to do so in the days since the stalemate was announced.  

“We actually invited (the university engagement team) to a meeting yesterday for negotiations, and they didn’t show up,” she said. “But we obviously are still hopeful.”

Though they want to reopen talks, Ayesh said encampment organizers will not retreat on their demands. 

“Most of the people on the encampment and some of the organizers are actually still sophomores, including myself, so we’re gonna be here for a while,” Ayesh said. “And we’ve already committed to pushing through even during the summer and into next year as well.”

Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 15 – 11:40 a.m.

Over two weeks have passed since the encampment formed on the Quad.

This morning, the DePaul Divestment Coalition stated in an Instagram post that the “forcible convening” of the three meetings with the university’s engagement team was allegedly influenced by unspecified threats from unspecified hate groups. 

“The actual nature of these threats was never once disclosed to the Coalition, despite our negotiators imploring for President Manuel to elaborate to determine the veracity of the information,” the post said.

The post began with a link to a letter from the Southern Poverty Law Center to Mayor Brandon Johnson and Superintendent of Police Larry Snelling. The letter expressed concerns about Chicago police officers with known ties to hate and extremist groups being discovered within the ranks.

The Coalition further criticized the university for not specifying the threat while increasing police presence on campus. 

“The Coalition condemns the manner in which the University weaponized unspecified threats of violence by unspecified hate groups to walk away from the negotiation table, never once publicly denounced the threats being made against our encampment, and welcomed a policing entity intertwined with these hateful groups to our campus,” the post said.

— Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


Day 13 – 4:00 p.m.

The DePaul Divestment Coalition held a rally at 1 p.m. in preparation for a Mother’s Day celebration held by the Chicago Jewish Coalition at the DePaul School of Music. On the other side of campus, pro-Palestinian protestors barricaded the Quad and chanted along Fullerton Avenue while CPD officers stood by. The Richardson Library’s Quad facing doors were locked prior to the protest. 

DePaul administration has released no statements regarding the rally or further information about what a “stalemate” means in terms of removing the encampment.

—Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor


Day 12 – 8:00 p.m.



DePaul’s engagement team announces a “stalemate” in negotiations with the DePaul Divestment Coalition and SJP.



Day 11 – 5:00 p.m.

According to a tweet from DePaul’s office of admissions, the university has canceled some portions of its Spring Visit Day tours scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, May 11. 

The tweet said the Spring Visit Day events were modified “due to circumstances beyond the control of the admissions office.”

Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 11 – 4:15 p.m

The Office of DePaul’s president, Robert Manuel, emailed the university community today at 3:53 p.m. regarding safety concerns on the Quad. According to the email, the university received calls from “external entities” regarding the potential for “escalated confrontations at the encampment.”

Shortly after the email was sent, the DePaul Divestment Coalition posted an emergency rally announcement encouraging community members to “come protect DePaul’s encampment” on their Instagram account. The emergency rally is scheduled for 6 p.m. across Fullerton Avenue from the Quad.

“We intend to continue the conversation with the student leaders in the DePaul Divestment Coalition,” the email said. “The safety of our community must continue to be our top priority.”

This comes after a Public Safety alert last night that reported a battery on the Quad where a group of unidentified males took a flag from an individual not affiliated with DePaul before fleeing eastbound on Fullerton Avenue. The email said the victim of the battery was not injured and did not require medical attention. 

Manuel’s email said that there is no known threat to other locations on campus and that regular operations will continue. However, the email encouraged the DePaul community, including those in the encampment, to avoid the Quad. The university said they asked the Chicago Police Department to monitor the Lincoln Park campus and its surrounding areas as a safety measure.

Claire Tweedie, Content Managing Editor


Day 10 – 2:00 p.m

All public entrances to McGowan North and the Belden Avenue entrance to McGowan South will be placed on hard lock-down effective immediately, according to an email sent this morning from Richard Niedziela, Associate Dean for Administration in the College of Science and Health.           

All swipe access to McGowan North is now deactivated. However, the north entrance of McGowan south, under the skybridge,will remain accessible during business hours through swiping a DePaul ID. 

The email said people can only exit through McGowan North and the Belden Avenue entrance to McGowan South in emergencies. 

Niedziela’s email did not say why public access to these buildings was cut off.

Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 9 – 6:00 p.m.

DePaul’s “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” is still going strong and has no plans to disassemble, according to DePaul student and encampment’s media liaison, Ayah Shaw.

Though members of the DePaul Divest Coalition did not meet with the university’s engagement team today, she said negotiations will continue Thursday. 

“As long as they’ll keep listening to us, we’ll keep having these communications with them,” Shaw said. 

She said the university’s engagement team is listening to the divestment coalition’s demands, but whether they act on the demands remains to be seen. 

Shaw reiterated what demonstrators in the encampment have said since day one: they have no plans of abandoning the encampment until every single one of their demands is met. 

“If the university thinks they can wait us out, I promise we can wait longer,” Shaw said. 

She said if the school year ends before all demands are met, then she will willingly spend her summer vacation on DePaul’s Quad. 

President Robert Manuel’s email to the university Monday addressed each of the coalition’s demands, but left much to be desired, according to another media liaison, Henna Ayesh, who spoke with The DePaulia Tuesday. 

Manuel’s email explained DePaul’s third party investment system and how the university does not have direct control over how the endowment is invested. 

But Shaw does not buy that explanation. 

“I think that statement is total BS,” she said. “I think DePaul has more than enough say on where their money goes, it’s the money that we are paying to them.” 

Shaw said SJP and the DePaul Divestment Coalition do not believe the narrative that DePaul does not have a choice on where its endowment goes. 

So, the coalition’s encampment still stands. 

“The energy is still there, and we’re still ready to continue that energy for as long as we have to,” Shaw said.

Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 8 – 8:30 p.m.

The DePaul Divestment Coalition posted an “Action Recap” regarding Sunday’s pro-Israel counter protests on Instagram today around 3:40 p.m. The post addressed the response from administration during Sunday’s events, listed the damage they alleged pro-Israel protestors caused to the encampment, and revealed the faces of who the Divestment Coalition claims is on the university engagement team. The pictures included President Robert Manuel, Eugene L. Zdziarski, the Vice President for Student Affairs, and Provost Salma Ghanem, among others.

Media liaison Henna Ayesh said the coalition’s negotiation team met with the university engagement team last Tuesday, Wednesday and once again today. 

She said organizers publicized the faces of the university engagement team because of poor experiences in prior negotiation meetings and with the people involved. 

“If you were in those… engagement meetings and you’re hearing our demands and you’re not doing anything about it, you do have blood on your hands,” Ayesh said. “You are contributing to the genocide in Gaza and I think its important to blast that on Instagram.” 

Ayesh said it is the right of students to hold the university accountable by publicizing their engagement team.

She said DePaul SJP and the Divestment Coalition do not condone violence or threats. Nevertheless, Ayesh said if the university engagement team is met with threats or harassment following the Instagram post exposing their identities, it “was of their own doing.”

Ayesh said the coalition is not planning on publicizing their own faces because of the lack of amnesty given to student protestors at the encampment and due to the power differences between the student coalition and the university engagement teams.

“We obviously know we’re on the right side so there’s no need to be posting (our) faces,” Ayesh said

The Instagram post was sent out during a meeting between the university engagement team and the divestment coalition’s negotiation team, according to Ayesh. 

She said she does not think the Instagram post will impact future negotiations with the university engagement team.

“We have proof for everything and anything on our end was not illegal or wrong…” Ayesh said. “I don’t see (why) the administration would get mad at us for doing what we did.”

Claire Tweedie, Content Managing Editor & Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 8 – 7:30 p.m.

The DePaul pro-Palestine student encampment is now the last one standing in Chicago after the University of Chicago’s student encampment was cleared by their campus police around 5 a.m.

For the encampment’s media liaison Henna Ayesh, this news comes with mixed emotions. 

“Honestly, you would think it would feel good, but it feels really sad,” Ayesh said. “…We’ve obviously worked with a lot of other organizers at other schools, a lot of them actually helped us put ours together.”

She said the organizers of DePaul’s encampment have considered the possibility of a police raid or arrests. She said in any scenario, demonstrators want to embody what she called the “resilience and resistance” of the Palestinian people. 

“So far, they (the university) haven’t given us any indication that they want to shut down our encampment,” Ayesh said. “I think if they did call police, it would look bad on them.”

Despite the news from the University of Chicago this morning, encampment organizers have had other matters to consider, primarily President Robert Manuel’s email to the university Monday afternoon addressing each of the DePaul Divestment Coalition’s demands. 

Ayesh said the university sent the email because the coalition specifically requested that before negotiations were to continue, the university had to respond to their demands. 

“They weren’t even gonna give us a written statement,” she said. “And so we emailed them saying, we don’t want to meet with them until they actually respond to each demand.”

Ayesh said SJP and the DePaul Divestment Coalition were disappointed with the content of Manuel’s email. 

“They ignored the scholasticide in Gaza…they failed to even give us an answer on divestment and just frankly said no,” Ayesh said. 

Manuel’s email explained DePaul’s third party investment system and how the university does not have direct control over how the endowment is invested. 

Ayesh also took issue with the university’s unwillingness to grant students engaging in campus demonstrations general amnesty. 

“I find that part like the most funny because we oftentimes find them in these emails saying how much they support us, and they want us here. And then they said that they can’t protect us,” she said. 

The encampment has no plans to compromise or concede on any of their demands even after Manuel’s email, according to Ayesh. 

“I don’t look at it as compromising,” Ayesh said. “I think it’s us holding our institution to a higher standard that it should be and going through with (our demands).”

Claire Tweedie, Content Managing Editor & Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 7 – 6:30 p.m. 

The DePaul Divestment Coalition is offering free therapy to members of the student encampment today after yesterday’s pro-Israel rally hosted by the Chicago Jewish Alliance. Media liaison Henna Ayesh said the therapy services are necessary for pro-Palestine students feeling overwhelmed by the encampment and the events leading up to its creation. 

“We really want to prioritize mental health because we can’t ensure that this (encampment) is running effectively if we don’t prioritize our self care as well,” Ayesh said.

Ayesh said licensed therapists in the community reached out to the encampment through social media offering their services. She said the encampment’s programming team which compiles the daily schedules vetted the professional expertise and credentials of the therapists.

Ayesh said the therapy services are also beneficial to students who feel unheard by administrators during the encampment. She said the response from administrators to yesterday’s counter protest was “not a clear representation of what actually happened,” citing the DPU alerts and Instagram posts from the university.

“They didn’t really provide clarification on whose end it was that was inciting escalation in violence and obviously that looks bad on us now,” Ayesh said.

“One of the most important values in this encampment and our community is that we keep each other safe,” Ayesh said. “Our biggest concern was not relying on campus security, not relying on administration and not relying on police forces.”

The therapy table is only available at certain times of day based on community volunteers. 

“In terms of our mental health, a lot of this takes a lot of capacity out of us and I think even the main organizers are especially feeling that right now,” Ayesh said. “A lot of us are feeling tired and exhausted because while we are doing this encampment now, it’s an accumulation of multiple other actions we’ve taken throughout the year.”

Claire Tweedie, Content Managing Editor


Day 7 – 2:45 p.m. 

The office of DePaul’s president, Robert Manuel, emailed the university community at 2:14 p.m. today, directly responding to the list of demands brought forth by the DePaul Divestment Coalition.

The response included calling for a “timely resolution” to the ongoing protests on campus and for a “mutually agreed upon cease-fire” where the needs of both sides are met.

President Manuel also directly rejected the coalition’s demand to remove members from DePaul’s Board of Trustees with ties with Israel, saying that this goes against the university’s founding Vincentian values. 

The email included responses to the other demands made by the coalition, such as divestment and disclosure concerns and for the protection of student protestors and faculty.

Lucia Preziosi, News Editor


Day 6 – 1:00 p.m. 

CPD is still blocking off the entrances to the quad as more counter-protestors gather on Fullerton.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators inside the quad chat “Racists, go home!” and “Palestine is ours alone.” Pro-Israel counter-protestors on Fullerton shouted “Free, Free the hostages” and “Show your face,” referencing the face masks many pro-Palestinian protestors are wearing.

Demonstrators also called out the presence of VP of student affairs Gene Zdziarski, saying “We will not negotiate DePaul, if VP Gene Zdziarski is at negotiations tomorrow.”

CPD has shut down the sidewalk on Fullerton. Both VP Gene Zdziarski and DePaul’s director of public safety Bob Wachowski did not have comment on the situation.

Multiple Public Safety alerts have been issued warning students to avoid the quad.

More frequent updates are available on The DePaulia’s X (formerly Twitter) account: @thedepaulia.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 6 – 11:05 a.m.

Members of the encampment have locked arms and are protecting the encampment on DePaul’s quad.

CPD separates pro-Palestinian protesters from a small counter protest of 25 people. Chanting and drumming roar among the long line of demonstrators.

No physical violence has occurred but tensions are rising.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 6 – 10:15 a.m.

About 60 people have begun to gather on the East lawn of DePaul’s School of Music for a pro-Israel rally hosted by the Chicago Jewish Alliance on the corner of Fullerton and Halsted. Leaders say they organized this event to celebrate the Jewish people and respond to the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” erected on DePaul’s Quad last Tuesday. 

“We’re doing it for the students, Jewish students, especially, just to make them feel safer and more emboldened on campus to be who they are,” Daniel Schwartz, founder of Chicago Jewish Alliance, told The DePaulia. 

Security guards hired by the Chicago Jewish Alliance guard both entrances to the music school lawn. 

Schwartz said he expects around 500 people at this rally soon. He said that it was intentionally held away from the encampment; however, they still wanted it on campus to support students. 

“It really is not a protest,” Schwartz said. “It’s a rally for the students and letting them know that the community is here to support them.”

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 5 – 4:15 p.m.

In a speech originally scheduled for 12 p.m., Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) addressed members of the Gaza Solidarity Encampment through a microphone in the center of the Quad to invigorate the crowd. 

He spoke about the protestor’s roles in fighting colonization with “international solidarity” in the name of justice.

Sigcho-Lopez also called for leaders to respond to atrocities without bullets and without violence. 

Sigcho-Lopez drew similarities between oppression in Gaza and Chicago and noted Chicago’s role as the first major city to call for a ceasefire on Jan 31, 2024. 

Speaking nationally, Sigcho-Lopez called out President Joe Biden for refusing to condemn Israel and said the International Criminal Court (ICC) should hold the Israeli government accountable. 

He said “All liberation is intertwined”, and the students are protecting the legacy of civil rights leaders. 

“I would tell students that history, justice and morality is on their side,” Sigcho-Lopez told The DePaulia after his public speech. 

He said public servants like himself must respect and protect the First Amendment rights of students and protestors around the country. 

“I’m so proud of the students of DePaul University for upholding those values of civil rights leaders,” he said. “I’m proud to stand with the students at DePaul University.”

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor & Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor



Day 5 – 10:45 a.m. 

Day five of the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” has dawned, bringing with it a new schedule of activities. SJP and DePaul Divest Coalition released a day five itinerary on Instagram at 10:30 a.m. just as an organizer announced breakfast was ready on the quad. 

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) will speak at noon, according to the schedule. De-escalation training will take place at 3:00  p.m., followed by Henna tattoo sessions offered at 4:00 p.m. 

The schedule also lists Rabbi Rosen as a speaker at 6:30 p.m. 

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 4 –  5:00 p.m.

Following the counter-protester’s departure, media liaison Henna Ayesh said the encampment has grown accustomed to managing opposition. She noted that recent counter-protesters have typically been individuals passing through the encampment rather than a cohesive group.

Ayesh also addressed the encampment organizers’ ongoing negotiations with the university following two meetings with the engagement team this week. 

“The first meeting didn’t go anywhere,” Ayesh said. “The second one, for some reason, they brought people within the meeting that had no power to do anything of our demands.”

She said the organizers do not feel the university is taking them seriously. Nevertheless, she said negotiations will continue, but did not specify when.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor, Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief, and Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor


Day 4 –  3:45 p.m.

A middle-aged white man not affiliated with DePaul University, SJP or DePaul Divest Coalition stood on a bench in the center of the quad and shouted, “I want you all to ask yourselves, ‘why are you here.”’

The crowd of demonstrators on the quad started chanting “Free, Free Palestine.” 

The man continued to shout at the crowd; however, he could not be heard over the rising chants. 

Demonstrators now inching closer to the center of the quad, they shouted: “Settlers, settlers go back home,” “Go home, racist,” and “Zionists ain’t welcome here.”

An organizer shouted, “Israel doesn’t exist, and this man doesn’t exist.”

The encounter concluded with a speaker telling protesters to return to their activities and act like the man didn’t exist

The crowd applauded and cheered as the man stopped shouting.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor and Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


Day 4 –  10:45 a.m.

SJP and DePaul Divest Coalition released its schedule for the fourth day of the encampment via Instagram this morning and over a loudspeaker for demonstrators to hear. 

Key events of the day include de-escalation training at noon and 6:00 p.m., as well as crowd safety and self-defense classes at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.  

DePaul’s Jews for Justice group will lead their weekly book club on the quad at 3:30 p.m. in solidarity with the demonstrators. An encampment organizer also shared over the loudspeaker Jews for Justice is hosting a Shabbat dinner tonight at the encampment. 

Seven therapists will be available to talk to demonstrators in the encampment for the remainder of the morning, according to the organizer. The DePaulia could not confirm at this time who hired the therapists

The organizer repeated SJP and DePaul Divestment Coalition’s demands along with the chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Correction: This update previously stated a “Shabbat seder dinner” would be held. It has been corrected to Shabbat dinner. 

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 4 –  8:30 a.m.

Puddles pool on the Quad after last night’s severe thunderstorms and heavy rain. Despite some tents appearing uprooted, over 60 still stand. Showers will persist into the morning, tapering off by early afternoon.

Muddy sneakers outside tents sit next to slightly faded signs calling for Palestinian liberation. Several demonstrators dressed in ponchos and keffiyehs prepare today’s provisions in the food and water tents.

Palestinian flags still hang from lamp posts in the quad. The flags, like the demonstrators, are soggy but still standing.

— Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief and Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 3 – 10:30 p.m.

Some 100 members of the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” were once again bombarded by heavy rains just after 10:00 p.m., following a burst of inclement weather this afternoon. 

Instead of nodding off for the night, some demonstrators rushed to secure tents and canopies, while others ran inside for cover in the John T. Richardson Library. 

Rhythmic drumming and chanting in the center of the quad tries to compete with the loud pattering of torrential rains and cracking of thunder. 

A severe thunderstorm warning in Cook County remains in effect until 11 pm, according to the national weather service.

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor

Day 3 – 7:30 p.m.

In an interview with The DePaulia, Henna Ayesh, sophomore and media liaison for the Pro-Palestinian encampment, said their negotiations team will not continue meeting with the engagement team. After DePaul Divestment Coalition met with the university’s engagement team on May 1, Ayesh said it would refrain from further meetings until at least one of their demands is met. 

Many of the demands from DePaul Divestment Coalition “could have been easily done that very same day,” citing calling for a cease-fire or acknowledging the Israel-Gaza war as a “genocide,” Ayesh said. 

“One of our demands is calling for a ceasefire, and the city of Chicago did that,” Ayesh said. “Why can’t DePaul do that?”

Ayesh added that the university will likely push negotiations faster to avoid postponing or canceling events hosted on the Quad, like FEST.

“I do think they underestimate how long we plan to stay here,” Ayesh said. “However, we have the supplies, we have teams and we have support from the community. We have enough to last us for a long time.”

Many of their supplies and donations are provided by community members, former DePaul alumni and resources initially allotted for the Northwestern University encampment, which has since ended, Ayesh said. 

Organizations in the DePaul Divestment Coalition have been meeting with university administration since the beginning of the academic year, according to Ayesh. She said the demands presented now are the same ones from months ago. 

“DePaul’s administration does not support us but the student body and the community does,” Ayesh said. 

Ayesh said they have not heard anything from university administration since DePaul Divestment Coalition posted an open letter on their Instagram account and throughout the encampment.

Claire Tweedie, Content Managing Editor and Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor


Day 3 – 3:15 p.m.

Torrential rains fell on the ‘Gaza Solidarity Encampment’ at 3:00 this afternoon. Tents flew as demonstrators raced to fortify the encampment.

Onlookers and demonstrators alike ran for cover in the John T. Richardson Library. 

The speaker scheduled for 3:00 was postponed. 

Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 3 – 2:20 p.m.

Tom Pace was 12-years-old when the 1968 Democratic National Convention happened in Chicago.

He said he would attend Downtown protests as much as his parents, who worked in the factories, would allow him at his young age.

“I’ve been fighting colonialism my whole life,” Pace said. “When people speak their minds, things change.”

Pace has been supporting the Palestinian liberation cause since his first introduction to divestment protests.

He said he was an avid supporter and protestor in the divestment campaign against South Africa in the 1980s.

The Avondale resident described DePaul’s encampment as inspiring and said he

feels validated in the many political and social beliefs he has held since childhood.

“You young people are fearless,” Pace said as he stopped at various tents around the encampment to give students fist-bumps and express his admiration.

Lucia Preziosi, News Editor


Day 3 – 1:45 p.m.

Student Body President Parveen Mundi and DePaul Divestment Coalition released a joint letter this afternoon in response to their meeting with the university’s engagement team.

coalition letter

The student encampment negotiators claim that the engagement team did not include any university administration who “hold any decision-making authority” regarding the encampment’s main demands, such as disclosure and divestment. 

According to the statement, the university engagement team did not respond to encampment organizer demands—which include divestment from corporations affiliated with Israel and disclosure of DePaul’s investment portfolio—and instead “prioritized creating and distributing inaccurate correspondences filled with tired Vincentian platitudes.”

Encampment negotiators also said that “at no point did the engagement team inform the encampment leadership that the encampment was having a ‘moderate impact on university operations.’”

The response indicated that demonstrators were disappointed by the engagement team’s lack of productive dialogue, which they felt was shown through “initially opting to invite only Muslim students.” 

The encampment leaders said this did not properly portray what they identified as a diverse coalition of supporters.

“We reject the co-optation and normalization of our encampment,” the letter read. “We reject the two-faced attempts of some of the Engagement Team sharing how ‘proud’ and ‘impressed’ they are by the encampment.”

The letter concludes by calling upon students to stay concrete in their demonstrations.

“We know why we are here, we know that we will not engage until we hear responses to our demands, and we know we will not leave until DePaul divests,” the letter said. 

The DePaulia has reached out to DePaul concerning the letter and are awaiting an official response. If a response is granted, a later update will reflect it.

Correction: a previous version of this update misrepresented the letter as being co-authored by the Divestment Coalition and SGA. It has been corrected to read that it has been authored by Parveen Mundi, Student Body President, & the Divestment Coalition. 

— Lucia Preziosi, News Editor & Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 3- 1:35 p.m.

A source in this update has been granted partial anonymity for fear of retaliation.

As the sky clouds, demonstrators remain in their spots in the Quad doing homework, eating lunch and talking with peers.

A large Palestinian flag now flies over the picnic table at the entrance to UHall, and music plays over the loudspeaker.

Tiff, a dancer, began a guided meditation to “connect with the earth” at 1:15 p.m., encouraging demonstrators to sit on the grass and take off their shoes. Yoga mats were also available at the encampment’s supply tent for students to participate.

“Enough has been sacrificed for the empire,” Tiff said. “The success of this movement depends on us taking care of ourselves and each other.”

Tiff acknowledged that the protestors “are probably tired” as she guided them through various stretching and breathing exercises. 

Some students sat alone, while others joined peers in the middle of the Quad to “inhale and exhale” in different counts.

The sound of wind chimes can be heard throughout the Quad as the breeze flows through the encampment and silence falls over the protesters.

“Staying connected to yourself is very important right now,” Tiff said. “We are here because we know that change is necessary.”

Lucia Preziosi, News Editor 


Day 3 – 10:45 a.m.

DePaul SJP and Divestment Coalition released its schedule for the third day of the encampment via Instagram this morning. 

Key events of the day include multiple prayer sessions, guest speakers scheduled for 3:00 p.m., and an appearance by Palestinian-American activist and community organizer Rami Nashashibi from the Inner-City Muslim Action Network at 9:00 p.m.

— Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief 


Day 3 – 7:45 a.m.

Nearly 48 hours in, the ‘Gaza Solidarity Encampment’ enters its third day with no signs of impending escalation from the University administration or CPD. Over (70) tents line the Quad as protesters slowly awake and prepare for another day of demanding DePaul divests from Israel.

One organizer said she was glad the rain held off through the night. Despite a nasty forecast expected this afternoon, she said the encampment will remain. 

Students preparing for class and midterms walk out of University Hall and the John T. Richardson Library through the solidarity encampment, which has become a fixture on DePaul’s campus. 

— Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief & Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. news editor


Day 2 – 11:00 p.m.

As the second night of DePaul’s ‘Gaza Solidarity Encampment’ settles in, it appears the encampment has consolidated some of its resource tents and strung lights through the trees along the North and West sides of the quad. About 150 students and other protestors remain in the encampment. 

Shortly after a prayer, demonstrators circled in the center of the quad and began a song performance. A message posted to DePaul’s official Instagram page earlier in the evening emplored organizers not to use sound amplification after 10 p.m. — this performance did not use sound amplification.

— Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor


Day 2 – 10:20 p.m.

DePaul’s official Instagram posted a message to protestors: “We implore that the encampment does not violate the City of Chicago’s noise ordinance. Please do not continue with amplified sound or music after 10 p.m.”

This comes as the encampment is hosting a performance on the Quad.

— Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor


Day 2 – 8:40 p.m.

The Office of the President sent an email to DePaul’s community with an update on the engagement session held today with encampment organizers. 

“The encampment includes faculty, staff, and students. Individuals from outside the DePaul community are using this as a space to protest as well,” the email read. 

The email reaffirmed that while the encampment directly violates university policy, “which must be ultimately addressed” and has “moderately impacted” university operations, the engagement team’s current goal is to maintain an open communication channel with organizers. 

In addition, the engagement team has alerted organizers that “protesters that are intimidating and inciting violence (in chants)” will not be tolerated. 

University Counseling and Psychological Services and the Division of Mission and Ministry are preparing support spaces with drop in hours. 

Organizers have convened in the center of the Quad to begin a rally. Protestors are playing drums along with repeating chants in front of University Hall.

Demonstrators leading the chants acknowledged Manuel’s email, telling the crowd to yell louder in spite of it. 

“Free, free Palestine,” the crowd chants along with a demonstrator wearing a keffiyeh, banging a bass drum.

SJP is broadcasting the rally on their Instagram Live.

— Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor, Lucia Preziosi, News Editor & Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 2 – 8:15 p.m.

Activist Beth Massey spoke to the student encampment about her experiences during the 1968 Columbia University protests about the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. Columbia is currently experiencing their own student encampment, with many pro-Palestinian student activists facing arrest or academic suspension. 

Beth Massey sits in the DePaul Quad after speaking to protesters on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. She is an activist who protested the Vietnam War at Columbia University in 1968. (Quentin Blais)

During her speech, she referenced the segregation she saw at Columbia during her time there, citing the university’s dominant land ownership in the Harlem neighborhood. 

“The United States is the strongest purveyor of violence in the world today,” said Massey, quoting from Martin Luther King Jr.

Massey, who is now 77 years old, said in an interview with The DePaulia that she was entering her junior year of college when the protests began. While her generation was inspired by the Civil Rights movement, she said each activism movement grows on others.

 She cited the 1971 Mayday protests in Chicago and said those same activism roots are being seen in the student encampments now.

“All I can say is to get back into the streets,” said Massey during her speech. “Go out and scare them.”

She ended her speech by encouraging student activists to continue protesting.

“Stay together,” said Massey during her speech. “Stay united and just keep growing.”

— Claire Tweedie, Content Managing Editor & Sam Mroz, Arts & Life Editor


Day 2 – 6:50 p.m.

A speaker discussed in this brief was granted partial anonymity due to fear of retaliation. 

Student and non-student activists led arrest training in the center of DePaul’s quad amid the Gaza solidarity encampment. 

The leaders repeatedly told the crowd not to talk to cops, journalists or campus security. 

“We keep us safe,” the first speaker said. 

The first speaker —who said he has been arrested before while protesting – said not to lie to police, but to prepare to be rude to them. 

“Police are typically very violent toward you,” they said. 

The third speaker, Hen, warned students against having biometrics, like face ID or fingerprint recognition, on their mobile phones. The second speaker, Banshee, further explained that biometrics can be easily hacked by police officers against arrestees’ consent. 

They also encouraged students to create a secure password that cannot be hacked by software used by law enforcement like Cellebrite, an Israeli company that allows access to devices during investigations. Banshee said Cellebrite works by plugging your phone into a software that turns off the feature that autolocks devices after a certain number of failed login attempts. This allows law enforcement to try an unlimited number of passwords before finding the right one.

During the Fresh Eyes Radio live show hosted before the arrest training, the current student and alumni hosts spoke about the police escalation at other student encampments like Columbia University and the University of Texas at Austin. The hosts discussed the use of tear gas on protestors at Columbia and the engagement of state police officers at UT Austin.

“We are lucky that no police have come to us, but that can change at any moment,” said one of the Fresh Eyes Radio hosts during the live show.

DePaul University has not expressed plans or desires to engage the Chicago Police Department as of last evening, according to Lexa Murphy, dean of the College of Communication and a member of the Engagement Team.

“We’re not trying to scare anyone, we’re not expecting cops to come in today,” the third speaker said.  

Nevertheless, they said it was necessary to prepare for escalation. 

“We live in a police state,” they said. “It can get physical, it can get violent.”

— Claire Tweedie, Content Managing Editor & Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 2 – 5:45 p.m. 

The speakers discussed in this brief were granted anonymity due to fear of retaliation.

Fresh Eyes Radio, a Radio DePaul show from current students and alumni that amplifies and unites Muslim voices on campus, hosted a live show in the Quad to discuss the encampment from the perspective of Palestinian students. The show began at 4:25 p.m. after a generator failure impacted the speaker system used to project the hosts’ voices from the middle of the Quad.

The five Fresh Eyes hosts discussed racial segregation in Chicago and its impact on activism, the response to other student encampments at universities across the country, and the varying levels of risks for student activists compared to Palestinians in Gaza.

“The reward is much better than the risk,” said one of the hosts. “You’re standing on the right side of history.”

One of the hosts noted that SJP organizers began conversations with the university engagement team but neither side had come to an agreement about the encampment. 

“The demands of students are a replica of the Vincentian values,” said one of the hosts.

Another Fresh Eyes host said SJP began conversations about the “genocide in Gaza” with President Robert Manuel six months ago. They claimed that during these meetings, Manuel said Israel had the right to exist.

“We are strong enough to support ourselves but the system does not allow us to support ourselves,” said one of the hosts.

The live show ended by reminding protestors of the community guidelines and acknowledging that the encampment had now been up for more than 30 hours. 

“Divestment will come, freedom will come, (and) liberation will come,” said one of the hosts.

— Claire Tweedie, Content Managing Editor


Day 2 – 3:20 p.m.

A speaker discussed in this brief was granted partial anonymity due to fear of retaliation. 

An organizer discussed in this brief was granted anonymity due to fear of retaliation from administration. 

A variety of Indigenous groups gathered in the center of the Quad to perform a “song in support (of the encampment),” said leader Tomas.

“We’re going to do one of those songs that used to be once a forbidden song,” Tomas said to the crowd.“We’re going to do something that we needed to do a long time ago at this university.”

Ali Schultz, a DePaul senior of Potawatomi descent, began burning sage as the song began, with Tomas and his supporters banging drums along to the hums.

“Don’t just stand there, dance!” Schultz yelled to the crowd.

More student supporters and organizers entered the crowd, singing and clapping along with Tomas’ drums. 

After the performance by indigenous activists, an encampment organizer announced updates about communications with the university.

The organizer said demonstrators at the encampment met with certain administrators this afternoon to discuss the protestors goals.

The organizer said, “(the demonstrators)  basically got nothing out of this meeting” and that those at the encampment are “not moving until this disgusting university divest from these genocidal corporations.”

The organizer also reiterated that the faculty they met with say they are “here to protect us.” 

A different organizer came to the microphone at 3:10 p.m. to restate the various community guidelines that have been established in “DePaul’s liberated zone.”

These guidelines included not speaking with campus security, Chicago police or media.

—Lucia Preziosi, News Editor


Day 2 – 1:45 p.m.

A coalition called “DePaul alumni for a free Palestine” sent an open letter to the university showing support for the pro-Palestinian encampment Wednesday morning. 

“We demand that the University immediately meet the demands of students, which several generations of DePaul students over the last decade have called for,” the email read. 

They referenced a student referendum passed in 2014 to divest from corporations that contribute to the Israeli military and government. Despite passing the referendum 10 years ago, they say the university never divested. 

“Now, in the middle of a genocide against the Palestinian people, DePaul University has the chance to uphold their Vincentian values and be one of the first universities to divest, set an international standard, and make history,” read the email. 

DePaul alumni for a free Palestine said they are troubled that DePaul, which says it is guided by Vincentian principles of compassion and justice has not publicly condemned the what they called the “genocide in Gaza.”

They noted DePaul’s history of supporting international social justice initiatives like the United Farm Workers strike and an end to Apartheid in South Africa. 

“Silence in the face of injustice is not neutrality; it perpetuates the status quo and allows injustice to prevail with impunity,” they said. 

The email is intended to be addressed to Katie Fraumann, Senior Vice President of Advancement and External Relations; Peter Coffey, Associate Vice President for Community and Government Relations; Salma Ghanem, Provost; Mark Laboe, Interim Vice President for Mission and Ministry; Robert L. Manuel, President; Jose Perales, Interim Vice President of Institutional Diversity & Equity, Equity and Inclusion; Eugene L. Zdziarski, Vice President for Student Affairs.

-Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 2 – 12:45 p.m.

DePaul’s director of Public Safety, Bob Wachowski, sent a statement to The DePaulia via a university spokesperson.

He said safety is a top priority at DePaul. 

“The university has contracted with United Security and Guardian Security for years,” the statement read. “As is always our practice, contracted security officers work closely with public safety to ensure the safety of all on campus.”

-Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


Day 2 – 11:50 a.m.

The speaker discussed in this brief was granted anonymity due to fear of retaliation. 

Members of Revolutionary Communists of America tabled amid the encampment of DePaul’s quad. 

“Today is a very symbolic day, it’s May first, ‘May Day,’ which used to be huge in Chicago,” Revolutionary Communists of America member Helena, 28, a Masters student at Adler University, said. “We’re here to show solidarity for the brave students who are taking part in the DePaul encampment.”

She said the Chicago chapter of Revolutionary Communists, which has grown to about 50 members in the last year, supports the encampment’s goal to bring awareness to what she called the “genocide in Gaza” and the “disclose, divest” campaign. 

“It’s just a really important opportunity to show students and workers the power that they collectively hold; we can stop arms from going to Israel, we can shutdown at campus,” she said. 

Helena emphasized that the group focuses on engaging student organizations because she believes they will be the most receptive.

“Don’t give up, we can still save this,” she said. “We just have to work really hard.”

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor & Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief 


Day 2 – 11:30 a.m.

The office of DePaul’s president, Robert L. Manuel, emailed the university community May 1 to announce the launch of a website providing resources and information and initiating discussions between engagement team members and protest leaders this afternoon.

“The university is also in contact with other student leaders on campus who are not part of the encampment to ensure many voices are heard in this process,” the email read.

Additionally, Manuel said that the Chicago Police Department and university also received noise complaints, but the issues were resolved through Public Safety.

“As we shared yesterday, in alignment with our Catholic, Vincentian tradition, our hope is to identify a path forward that allows our community to make their voices heard, while also respecting the rights of fellow students to pursue their education and participate in regular university activities safely. Any acts of hatred, violence, Islamophobia, or antisemitism will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action,” the email concludes. 

Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


Day 2 – 10:30 a.m.

DePaul SJP and Divestment Coalition released their schedule for the second day of the encampment via Instagram this morning. 

Notibly the schedule includes a reference to the United DePaul Strike set to begin at 11:00 a.m. The strike was previously scheduled prior to the encampment’s start. 

At 1:00 p.m., the schedule indicates that “solidarity speakers” will be speaking at the encampment followed by a 1:45 p.m. Dhur prayer and a 2:00 p.m. lunch.

At 6:00 p.m., the encampment will host arrest training followed by a guest speaker at 6:45 p.m.

—Lucia Preziosi, News Editor


Day 2 – 9:15 a.m.

Almost 24 hours have passed since protesters pitched tents on the Quad and set up DePaul’s encampment. There has been no CPD presence on campus.

Tents unzip and students slowly waking greet passersby at the heart of the Lincoln Park Campus.

Jeff, a Jewish resident of Lincoln Park and father of three school-aged children in the neighborhood, has been monitoring the encampment since it was established.

“I think the biggest concern for me is, as a parent of Jewish children, who walk to school who play outside who are in this area,” he said. “Yesterday when we came, there’s a there’s rage, there’s anger, there’s intimidation as like bullying, there’s like a real charge from the people we heard.”

Jeff wasn’t surprised by the encampment’s creation, noting similar setups at schools nationwide and in Illinois. However, he finds its proximity to his home “concerning.”

“Anybody has the right to free speech to protest,” he said. “My concern is for the safety of the community, our kids.”

Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


Day 2 – 8:30 a.m.

The sun rose Wednesday morning on the pro-Palestinian encampment on DePaul’s quad. Some students ate breakfast and did homework outside tents while neighborhood onlookers took photos of the tents and signs. 

United Security workers in green polo shirts guarded the entrances to the quad on Seminary and Fullerton. The security workers said they were hired by DePaul University. Portable toilets were also brought onto the quad, by organizers. 

— Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


7:30 p.m.

To prepare for the encampment, DePaul’s administration appointed an engagement team to balance respecting students’ right to protest and the university’s core mission of teaching and learning, according to team member Lexa Murphy.

Currently, the team has nine representatives from the Office of Academic Affairs, the Division of Mission and Ministry and the Office of Student Affairs.

Murphy, the College of Communication dean, said the group’s goal is to create a channel of dialogue and a sense of transparency between protesters and administration.

“The overall charge is just to make sure that we have open lines of communication, that we have moments and opportunities for dialogue to really talk with and work with the student protesters,” Murphy said Tuesday, April 30.

So far, the engagement team has met with Student Government Association Vice President Avery Schoenhals.

Although Murphy was not physically present on the Lincoln Park Campus Tuesday, she emphasized that the university intends to approach the encampment differently from other higher education institutions and has no intention of calling the Chicago Police Department on protesters.

Murphy stated that the university would uphold its decisions based on Vincentian values, respect students’ right to protest and ensure minimal impact on the university’s operations.

“They’re not looking to bring in external forces or anything like that,” Murphy said. “Their goal is just to maintain open dialogue and a peaceful setting, and as long as it doesn’t interfere or pull away from the core operation at the university – meaning classes (and) the ability of all students to still get their right to education – then there’s no plan that I’m aware of to, to call in CPD or external forces.” 

Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


6:15 p.m.

The speaker discussed in this brief was granted anonymity due to fear of retaliation.  

Protesters gathered at the center of DePaul’s Quad to listen to a Pro-Palestinian organizer and discuss the demands for divestment, the ending of investment in companies that benefit Israel’s war efforts in Gaza,  and future mobilization efforts. 

The speaker discussed the encampments at other American universities, especially those that have “escalated.” Over the past few weeks, Columbia has seen a heavy police presence on campus, as well as suspensions and expulsions for students involved in its encampment.

“We have seen Columbia escalate,” he said. “We have seen Poly Cal escalate. And you have to figure out what your escalation tactics are going to be at the school.”

The speaker also said that a commitment to divestment was not enough — it has to be seen through.

“We have to keep the pressure, we have to escalate, and we have to hold (DePaul) accountable … until they finally divest.” 

The speaker discussed previous divestment efforts that were successful at DePaul. Including a student boycott of lettuce and grape growers from 1972-74 in support of the United Farm Worker’s Union (UFW). The boycott garnered 4,000 petition signatures and a resolution by SGA— ultimately leading to DePaul ending its relationship with non-union growers. 

“The student body forced the school in 1972 …  to boycott non-union lettuce and grape growers,” he said. 

He discussed the school’s “change its investment strategy” in response to student demands for divestment from apartheid South Africa in the 1990s. 

The speech concluded with a call to action to protest the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in August. 

“(We want) to let the Democratic Party and Genocide Joe know that they’re not welcoming to the city and that they are complicit in genocide,” he said. 

—Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor


3:15 p.m. 

Counter-protestors arrived at the DePaul Quad at 3:00 p.m. 

As the counter-protesters entered the quad, encampment organizers told its members not to “engage or interact” with the opposing side and to combat them through chanting.

About 25 pro-Israel demonstrators congregated around the Seminary Avenue entrance to the Quad, where encampment protesters gathered nearby to begin a series of chants such as, “disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters soon linked arms across from protesters adorned in Israeli flags before retreating to their encampments. 

DePaul freshman Lily Hecht, co-president of the Jewish student organization Hillel, said she and other Jewish students are concerned about antisemitic rhetoric on college campuses across the country. 

“They’re just spreading a lot of hate,” Hecht said of pro-Palestinian protesters. “I mean, at Columbia, we’ve seen a lot of laws broken and a lot of extremely antisemitic rhetoric, like not even just anti-Zionist, but purely antisemitic.”

About 25 counter-protesters gathered at the Seminary entrance to DePaul’s Quad to protest the encampment on April 30 at 3 p.m. (Jake Cox)

In opposition to the pro-Palestinian encampments erected Tuesday morning, Hecht said she wants to spread positivity and eventually engage in dialogue. 

“We’re just trying to spread love here,” Hecht said. “We’re just trying to get a community of Jews to show that we’re not afraid and we are at DePaul, despite the encampments.”

Nick, a Jewish Lincoln Park resident, was a part of the counter-protests. He believes that the events of Oct. 7 have been “whitewashed” and says that Israel’s proposals to Hamas have been “extremely generous.”

“There is no ceasefire because (Hamas) has not accepted it,” Nick said.

Pro-Palestinian protestors eventually retreated from the counter-protest and reconvened in the center of the quad, where they continued various chants over megaphones.

Ben, a DePaul sophomore, was also participating in the counter-protests, wearing a flag of Israel draped around his neck.

He believes with the hostages being released, the violence in Gaza would stop.

Ben also expressed his hope that the ongoing protests don’t interfere with “student studies” as midterms continue at DePaul and expressed his concern about being a Jewish student on campus.

DePaul Hillel posted on their Instagram story that students are welcome in the Jewish Life Center “for a safe space to decompress and hang out.”

“It’s scary, it’s hard…there’s a lot of framing going on with the school,” Ben said.

The protests on both sides remain peaceful.

—Lucia Preziosi, News Editor and Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


2:00 p.m. 

Organizers invited all demonstrators to gather in the Quad, where they announced 10 community guidelines for everyone to follow.

At the forefront of the guidelines remained the message to prioritize the safety of those protesting. 

DePaul student protestors hang the “Community Guidelines” for the encampment on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. The rules were previously outlined in the 2 p.m. live update. (Jake Cox)

“Who keeps us safe?” the organizer asked the crowd. “We keep us safe!” responded the approximately 150 students crowded around the center of the Quad. 

Leaders also urged demonstrators to avoid engaging with agitators and speaking to the media directly, whether they were DePaul students or not. Instead, they were asked to direct reporters to designated “media liaisons.”

They also say that photos and videos should not be taken without explicit consent from participants. According to the guidelines, demonstrators should also not disclose any of their information to the Chicago Police Department, such as their names.

The announcer also stated alcohol and drug use is prohibited within the encampment.

Because of DePaul’s standing as an open-campus, the organizer urged not only DePaul students to participate in the encampment and protests, but also DePaul alumni, students from other universities and Chicago residents. 

The announcer also stated they were open to adding additional guidelines to the officially established ones, and encouraged those with ideas to come communicate with the organizers.

The announcement of guidelines ended with a series of various chants, including “end the siege on Gaza” and “from the river to the sea”

—Lucia Preziosi, News Editor and Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


12:25 p.m.

The DePaul Divest Coalition posted its agenda for the first day of the university’s encampment on Instagram after its establishment. An event, speaker or communal meal is planned for nearly every hour from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. 

According to the schedule, there will be a divestment teach-in from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in McGowan South Room 108 hosted by SPJ, where they will provide background information on the divestment and feature two alumni speakers.

—Lilly Keller, Editor-in-Chief


12:15 p.m.

DePaul sophomore Henna Ayesh, student media representative for the DePaul encampment, are among the many who were encamped on DePaul’s quad. 

“This is the community coming together to make this happen. And as you can see by the numbers, this is a testament to our community’s power in numbers,” Ayesh said. 

“Free Palestine” and “From the River to the Sea” chants can be heard across the Quad, where over 150 protesters have gathered.

Ayesh said protesters will remain on the quad “until DePaul adheres to all of the demands that we have given them.”

She said it is a good sign that protesters in the encampment at the University of Chicago have not yet faced the Chicago Police Department. Still, SJP and DePaul Divest Coalition have plans in place to address law enforcement. 

“We are equipped with Marshals and police liaisons…so we have people on site who are experienced in dealing with these types of situations,” Ayesh said. 

She said she hopes to negotiate with the university “as soon as possible.”

“If you have time, stop by,” she said. “This encampment is open to everybody, whether you’re a DePaul student or not.”

—Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


11:50 a.m.

The number of protestors has increased to approximately 150. Protestors have begun chanting on the quad.

—Rose O’Keeffe, Asst. News Editor


10:00 a.m.

Dozens of DePaul student protesters have begun setting up an encampment on the Quad.

—Jake Cox, Online Managing Editor


Related Stories:

Photo Gallery: Day one of DePaul’s divestment encampment on the Quad

— “Time was of the essence’: Northwestern students set up camp to support Gaza

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