Palestine protest ends after chaos at Rutgers-Newark

☑️ The pro-Palestinian Rutgers-Newark camp was established on May 1st.

☑️ It lasted longer than the protests at Rutgers-New Brunswick and Princeton

☑️ The demonstrators ignored the first order to leave on May 21

NEWARK – Participants in a month-long pro-Palestinian camp at Rutgers-Newark University abandoned it Sunday after being asked to do so by the university for the second time.

The camp was set up on May 1 by the Newark Solidarity Coalition on University Heights, two days after a similar protest took place on Voorhees Mall in Rutgers-New Brunswick. While the camp in New Brunswick was ended by negotiations after four days, the camp in Newark continued with less media attention.

Protesters in Newark ignored a request to leave on May 21 and vowed to stay until their demands were met.

The Rutgers-Newark camp wanted the university to divest from Israel and provide Newark residents with free public housing, debt relief, free legal services, and free dental and medical care.

A second order to disperse the event was obeyed on Sunday morning and the tents were dismantled under the watchful eye of Rutgers police, according to a statement from the university. No arrests were made.

The university said it was exercising its “authority to regulate the time, place and manner of protests on campus while preserving the First Amendment rights of students, faculty and staff to protest.”

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Camp at Rutgers-Newark Camp

Rutgers-Newark Camp (@newarksolidarity via Instagram)

Violations of Rutgers policies are the beginning of the end

The university said it held meetings with camp leaders throughout most of the camp's duration and provided “serious, factual and constructive responses to the vast majority of their concerns.”

Over the past two weeks, protesters have “withdrawn” and repeatedly violated the university's fire safety regulations, damaged property, delayed face-to-face negotiations and attempted to erect a large building in the protest area, the university said.

“Most recently, protesters have made public statements over the past week making clear that they do not intend to follow the path for evaluating divestment requests as laid out for all of Rutgers in the commitments the university made on May 2,” the university said, referring to the agreement to end the encampment in New Brunswick.

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Organizers accused Newark Mayor Ras Baraka of sending Newark police to block streets. Baraka denied the accusation.

“Newark police did not participate in clearing the encampment until three Newark police officers conducting traffic stops on the streets in front of Rutgers University noticed a crowd of people crowding around two Rutgers University police officers. University police officers had arrested an adult male following a foot chase. Newark police provided mutual aid in crowd control,” Baraka and Public Safety Director Fritz G. Fragé said in a joint statement.

A police officer seen flexing his muscles in a video posted by protesters is under disciplinary investigation for “violating Newark policies and procedures.”

A Newark police officer is caught on video flexing his muscles while helping Rutgers police

A Newark police officer is caught on video flexing his muscles while helping Rutgers police (9.6.24) (@nwksolidarity via X)

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