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Friday, May 24, 2024

Live updates: Day six of the pro-Palestine encampment at Library Mall

The pro-Palestine protest and encampment organized by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Young Democratic Socialists of America continued through Friday night.

The pro-Palestine protest and encampment organized by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Young Democratic Socialists of America continued through Friday night.

A total of 48 tents sat on Library Mall Saturday morning even after police removed all but two tents Wednesday morning. Police arrested 34 protesters on Wednesday, and four were put in the Dane County Jail, according to UWPD.

The encampment began soon after protesters held a rally Monday morning to call for UW-Madison to divest from companies with ties to Israel.

The Wisconsin Administrative Code prohibits camping on university lands, but a university's chancellor can authorize camping. UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin said in a statement she authorized the Wednesday removal of the encampment.

Organizers met with campus administration this morning. At this time, there is still no resolution. Protesters have called on a disclosure of UW Foundation investments.

Read coverage of the encampment from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


[8 p.m. CDT] 

By Annika Bereny

Two movie screenings are beginning as the sun sets, the first being Resistance Climbing (2023), a documentary short about the first indoor climbing gym in Palestine and how climbing has become a way to escape the hardships of occupation. 

The second movie, beginning at 9:30 p.m., is the 1966 film “The Battle of Algiers.” The film follows rebels and guerilla fighters in Algeria during their war against the French for independence. 

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The live blog is paused until tomorrow morning.

[7:43 p.m. CDT]

By Annika Bereny

The university has released a statement regarding the progression of discussions between student protest leaders and administration.

During the fourth meeting between the two parties, students proposed a set of guidelines for the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA), though campus officials made no commitments due to WFAA being an independent non-profit. The statement also said campus officials ruled out the removal of UWPD from campus. 

As organizers told the encampment earlier, campus officials have agreed to refrain from police action as long as “productive” discussions continue.

[4:10 p.m.] No police intervention will take place while negotiations continue, organizers say

By Bryna Goeking and Annika Bereny

Organizers said negotiations with administration officials are ongoing, and there will be no police intervention until negotiations are done.

“Student negotiators emphasized that especially in light of the Wednesday morning police attack, the police have delegitimized themselves,” a media liaison said. 

A group of student and faculty negotiators met with Provost Charles Isbell, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs John Zumbrunnen and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor Saturday morning. 

Administration said there is a possibility UW Foundation investments will be disclosed, according to organizers. Students additionally suggested the establishment of a principles of investment system that would include refusing to invest in companies that profit from arms manufacturing, environmental degradation operations in occupied territories and management of private prisons.

Administration provided the organizers with various reforms for police presence on campus, according to protesters, but organizers said “these reforms are not enough to protect students of color on campus.”

“We will remain firm that we must deepen the belief or the means to abolish them from the campus, and we must reinvest in other means of community safety,” the media liaison said.

Organizers encouraged students to remain at the encampment until all demands are met. 

[2:40 p.m.]

By Ty Javier

More than 20 children gathered on Library Mall to participate in a “Kids for Palestine” event organized by the encampment. Children drew on coloring sheets of animal characters holding free Palestine signs, maps of disputed land with historical landmarks and a Palestinian diaspora family. 

One of the organizers read the children’s book “Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine” about three daughters of the Palestinian diaspora being told stories from their father about his home. The book was written by Hannah Moushabeck, a second-generation Palestinian American author.


[2:15 p.m.] 

By Bryna Goeking

A group of pro-Palestine protesters left Bascom Hall. 

Pro Palestine Protest May 4-01.jpg
Protestors walk from from negotiations at Bascom on May 4, 2024.

Kara Silver, a mother of a Jewish student at UW-Madison, and UW-Madison sophomore Erika Klein spoke with The Daily Cardinal about their experiences this past week. 

Silver said she flew in from New Jersey out of concern for her daughter’s safety. 

“Chancellors across the country are negotiating with pro-terror organizations and pro-terror students without equal Jewish representation,” Silver said. 

Klein said she wished more Jewish students could be included in the negotiations with administration.

“People are not treating the students well, and we came here to be in a safe space for our religion and our culture. And that's not what the university is providing for us,” Klein said.

Klein said she sat down with “a couple of students on both sides” yesterday, which she called a “really nice conversation.”

“We didn't agree on everything we said, and that's probably not gonna happen,” Klein said. “But it was really a pleasure to sit and have a nice discourse and learn and speak and really try and understand each other.”

Pro Palestine Protest May 4-02.jpg

Counter protesters hold signs that say "No Negotiation without Jewish Representation" in front of pro-Palestine sit in on May 4, 2024.

[2:00 p.m.]

By Bryna Goeking and Annika Bereny

A group of five counter-protesters removed the keffiyeh from the Abraham Lincoln statue. 

The group held two signs that said “no negotiation without Jewish representation.”

Both groups of protesters remained peaceful. 

Pro Palestine Protest May 4-03.jpg
Counter protestors throw the keffiyeh off the Lincoln statue after pro-Palestine protestors placed it there on May 4, 2024.

[12:50 p.m.]

By Bryna Goeking and Annika Bereny

A group of roughly 10 protesters staged a sit-in atop Bascom Hill. They have tied a keffiyeh around the neck of the Abraham Lincoln statue.

Pro Palestine Protest May 4-11.jpg
A protestor places a keffiyeh on the Lincoln statue in front of Bascom on May 4, 2024.

[9:21 a.m. CDT] Meeting with Mnookin scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

By Annika Bereny and Anna Kleiber

Organizers will meet with UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin and members of administration at 12:30 p.m. today. A media liaison said they expect the meeting to extend into mid-afternoon or late afternoon. 

An update on the meeting outcomes is expected shortly after the meeting’s conclusion, according to the media liaison. 

[8:38 a.m. CDT] Saturday’s schedule 

By Anna Kleiber and Finnegan Ricco

SJP announced Saturday’s schedule on Instagram. General meetings are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Throughout the day there will be teach-ins and a guest speaker, Osama Abdl-Haleem, at 6 p.m.

The People’s Kitchen Part 2 is serving chickpea salad, coffee and bagels with cream cheese in addition to fruits, bags of chips and assorted beverages at the pro-Palestinian encampment for breakfast.

Campers were asked to return their popsicle stick “keys” if they were not planning to stay overnight Saturday. Each tent has a number taped to it, and the popsicle sticks are numbered to keep track of the tents that have openings and who is staying where.

In addition to the regularly scheduled events, there will be a “Kids for Palestine” event at 2 p.m. that will include story time, arts and crafts, chants and a dance party. A Dabke dance will be held at 7 p.m. as well. 

A sign at the Pro-Palestine encampment show the daily schedule on May 4, 2024 in Madison, Wis.
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Anna Kleiber

Anna Kleiber is the state news editor for The Daily Cardinal. Follow her on Twitter at @annakleiber03.

Annika Bereny

Annika Bereny is the Special Pages Editor for the Daily Cardinal and specializes in campus reporting. Follow her on Twitter at @annikabereny.

Bryna Goeking

Bryna Goeking is an arts editor for The Daily Cardinal. She also reports on campus news. Follow her on twitter @BrynaGoeking.


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