The University of Pennsylvania tells Fox News Digital on Friday that 33 people have been arrested this morning during the dismantling of an anti-Israel encampment on its Philadelphia campus. 

“At approximately 5:30am this morning, Penn Police, with support from the Philadelphia Police Department, took steps to remove the unauthorized encampment on College Green,” a spokesperson said. “Protesters were given multiple warnings that they were trespassing and offered the opportunity to voluntarily leave and avoid citation.  

“Those who chose to stay did so knowing that they would be arrested and removed,” the spokesperson added. “Approximately 33 individuals were arrested without incident and cited for defiant trespass.”

Interim UPenn President J. Larry Jameson and other top university officials released a joint statement this morning saying the encampment’s removal was an “unfortunate but necessary step to prevent violence, restore operations, and return our campus to our community.” 

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“We have worked with serious intention for nearly two weeks to engage the protesters on College Green, who were notified on April 26th — the second day of the encampment — that they were in violation of Penn’s policies,” the administrators wrote. “This outreach has been met by unreasonable demands and a dangerous escalation of the encampment.” 

“Our community has been under threat and our campus disrupted for too long. Passion for a cause cannot supersede the safety and operations of our University,” they also said. “Early this morning, we took action, with support from local law enforcement, to remove the encampment. We would like to express our gratitude to the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Police Department for their support.” 

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UPenn campus arrest

UPenn says access to the College Green area where the encampment was is “restricted until further notice.” 

The University says the “protesters refused repeatedly to disband the encampment, to produce identification, to stop threatening, loud, and discriminatory speech and behavior, and to comply with instructions from Penn administrators and Public Safety.” 

University of Pennsylvania associate professor Dagmawi Woubshet told WTXF that the dismantling of the encampment is “a sad day, a low point at this university.”  

UPenn protesters arrested

 

“The students have engaged in a peaceful, first amendment-protected right of free speech — that’s what they were doing — for Gaza in support of Palestine to demonstrate the genocide that has taken place in Gaza,” Woubshet said. 

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