Removing encampment remains ‘urgent’ campus priority, UW says – The Badger Herald

The pro-Palestine encampment demonstration has reached its tenth day on Library Mall.

Protest organizers have a series of programming planned for Wednesday, including Zine Making at 10 am, a teach-in about cops off campus movements at 3 pm, solidarity support for organizers at 4 pm and paper printmaking at 5:30 pm

Protest negotiators met with UW administrators yesterday, though details from the meeting have not yet been announced. UW spokesperson John Lucas told The Badger Herald over email Tuesday that “discussions are expected to continue.”

This is a developing story. See live updates below.

4:37 p.m.

On Library Mall, demonstrators are chanting in support of Palestine.

—Reported by Managing Editor Cat Carroll.

4:31 p.m.

Over 100 people gathered at the center of Library Mall. One organizer led the group in prayer, centering Palestine and the civilians in Gaza.

Another organizer spoke on the student protest leaders’ meeting with administrators this morning, saying the negotiators were frustrated by a lack of progress in addressing their demands.

“We’re ready to meet again,” the organizer said. “As long as they’re [administrators] ready to meet in the middle.”

—Reported by Managing Editor Cat Carroll.

4:07 p.m.

In a 3:45 pm update to a statement, UW said student protest organizers may be interested in meeting tomorrow, and that campus leaders remain open to holding such a meeting. The statement restated administrators’ goal to end the encampment demonstration.

“It remains an urgent campus priority to end the encampment, which is illegal, a violation of student and registered student organization conduct rules, and an increasing safety concern,” the statement said.

—Reported by Managing Editor Cat Carroll.

3:03 p.m.

Over 60 UW student organizations have now expressed support for the encampment demonstration, according to a post made to the SJP UW–Madison Instagram.

—Reported by Managing Editor Cat Carroll.

2:57 p.m.

UW added to its earlier statement that there are currently no plans to have law enforcement remove the encampment on Library Mall.

—Reported by Editor-in-Chief Celia Hiorns.

2:50 p.m.

United Faculty and Academic Staff AFT Local 223 unanimously voted in support of a resolution May 4 condemning violence against peaceful protesters, asking for accountability for law enforcement, calling for UW administrators to consider the protesters’ demands and offering support to members of the UW community exercising their right to peacefully protest, according to a press release.

“UFAS reaffirms the rights of students, faculty, and staff to peacefully protest and call for changes to the governance of our institution,” the resolution said. “We stand in solidarity with those targeted by violence and repression, and we will continue to fight for a safe and democratic environment to work, study, and dissent at UW–Madison.”

—Reported by Editor-in-Chief Celia Hiorns.

1:38 p.m.

The midday prayer, Dhuhr has begun. Other protesters are surrounding those praying to block potential interruption and interference.

—Reported by Managing Editor Cat Carroll.

1:22 p.m.

In a Wednesday afternoon statement, the university said students and faculty members involved with the encampment demonstration ended negotiation talks with administrators this morning.

“For the moment, campus leaders remain open to further discussions, but are deeply disappointed at this outcome,” the statement said.

—Reported by Managing Editor Cat Carroll.

12:37 p.m.

UW released information for guests ahead of Saturday’s spring commencement ceremony. Flags, banners, signs and noisemakers will be prohibited inside Camp Randall Stadium. All guests will be required to go through metal detectors and abide by carry-in policies.

The information website also warned attendees of disruptions.

“Disruption of university events, including graduation activities, violates state law and will not be tolerated,” the website said.

—Reported by Editor-in-Chief Celia Hiorns.

12:18 p.m.

Protest organizers announced Wednesday afternoon that on Monday, organizers presented a proposal for ethical divestment to members of UW administration. During yesterday’s 11 am negotiation meeting, members of UW administration said they had not read the proposal, according to protest organizers. UW administrators in turn presented their own resolution which said they could not make commitments related to disclosure or divestment of Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association investments.

Instead, administrators offered to facilitate a meeting between organizers and members of WFAA. UW’s proposal also included further conversations about shared governance and belonging for Muslim, Arab and Palestinian members of the campus community.

Protest organizers rejected the administration’s resolution proposal. Organizers are circulating a petition for support on their proposal, according to an Instagram post from Students for Justice in Palestine UW–Madison.

—Reported by Editor-in-Chief Celia Hiorns.

10:37 a.m.

During Tuesday evening’s Madison City Council meeting, members of the UW and greater Madison communities expressed support and opposition for agenda item 38, a resolution to support student protesters and reaffirm a previous call for a ceasefire in Gaza. The original resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza passed unanimously Dec. 6, according to previous reporting from The Badger Herald.

The resolution failed to pass with an 8–8 vote. The resolution council members voted on was revised from an earlier version, which some community members criticized during public comment. Compared to the original version, the resolution discussed Tuesday evening did not include specific recommendations for law enforcement and made mention of the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, among other revisions.

—Reported by Managing Editor Cat Carroll.

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