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Police Break Up Pro-Palestinian Encampment On Michigan Campus

Police broke up a pro-Palestinian encampment Tuesday at the University of Michigan, less than a week after demonstrators showed up at the home of a school official and put fake body bags on her lawn. Officers wearing helmets with face shields moved in before sunrise to clear the Diag, known for decades as a site for campus protests. Video posted online showed police using what appeared to be an irritant to spray people, who were forced to retreat, the Associated Press reports. The encampment had been set up in late April near the end of the school year and as families arrived for commencement. Posters taunting President Santa Ono and other officials were also displayed. After the camp was cleared, nearby buildings, including the undergraduate and graduate libraries, were closed, and police turned away students who showed up to study.

Ono said the encampment had become a threat to safety, with overloaded power sources and open flames. Organizers, he added, had refused to comply with requests to make changes following an inspection by a fire marshal. “The disregard for safety directives was only the latest in a series of troubling events centered on an encampment that has always violated the rules that govern the Diag — especially the rules that ensure the space is available to everyone,” Ono said. Protesters have demanded that the school’s endowment stop investing in companies with ties to Israel. The university insists it has no direct investments and under $15 million in funds that might include companies in Israel. That’s less than 0.1% of the total endowment.


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