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Case Western Reserve University protest calling for Gaza cease-fire continues into second night

CWRU Pro-Palestine protestors line up behind metal barriers erected by Police.
J. Nungesser
Ideastream Public Media
Case Western Reserve University students line up behind metal barriers around the KSL Oval erected by campus police.

Protesters at Case Western Reserve University again spent the night Tuesday camped out in the park outside Kelvin Smith Library, with no arrests despite police and university administrators looking on.

The students said they're seeking the university's divestment from companies that profit off Israeli "apartheid" and the "international military-industrial complex"; for the administration to retract statements calling that divestment resolution - passed by the student government in 2022 - anti-Semitic; and for the university to make a statement in favor of a cease-fire, among other demands.

Yousef Khalaf, president of Students for Justice in Palestine, said the administration isn't listening to students.

"They are completely disconnected from the student body," Khalaf said. "They don't understand why their students don't want to invest in a genocide. They don't want their university to be profiting off the blood of our people, to be profiting off the blood of 15,000 dead children."

two young men speak to reporters
Ygal Kaufman
Ideastream Public Media
Protest representatives Yousef Khalaf (left) and Jad Oglesby (right) give a statement to reporters as the evening wore on with no police encroachment.

Jad Oglesby, vice president of Students for Justice in Palestine, said students are committed to staying for as long as they feel their demands aren't being met.

"This is finals week, and if you look behind you, we are still out here," he added.

Peter Whiting, interim vice president for student affairs at CWRU, told Ideastream Public Media Tuesday night that only students and staff would be allowed to camp out. However, protesters pushed back, bringing the university-placed barriers tightly around a group of about 150 people, linking arms and chanting, meant to protect any non-student activists. The university had checked IDs Monday night; that did not take place Tuesday. Police did not interfere with the protest.

An encampment-style protest calling for a cease-fire and similar divestment measures continued at Oberlin College Tuesday night as well.

Conor Morris is the education reporter for Ideastream Public Media.