Student protestors stage Cathedral sit-in

Student protesters occupied a small section of the Cathedral of Learning after delivering a letter to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s office Tuesday. (Photo by Anna Bongardino | Assistant Visual Editor)

A small group of students entered Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s office Tuesday morning with a letter of 15 demands, including disarming University police.

The letter also demanded the University vocally endorse a graduate student union, divest from fossil fuels, install a $15 Pitt-wide minimum wage and freeze tuition.

One student protester said Gallagher was not present to receive the letter and Pitt police came to remove the student protesters from the office despite peacefully protesting.

According to University spokesperson Joe Miksch, the students were given the option to speak with another senior administrator, but they declined the invitation. After sitting in the middle of a “working reception area,” Pitt police asked the students to leave, which Miksch said they did “without incident.”

The students then went to a small enclave on the Cathedral’s second floor. They plan to occupy the space day and night “until their demands are met” or until Friday — when the group plans to protest on Towers Patio.

The Towers “occupation” will feature speakers from the Campus Anti-Fascist Network: Pittsburgh. Protesters said the rally is being held to coincide with the first anniversary of a protest last November against Donald Trump and student debt. Pitt police arrested two people during last year’s protest after an altercation.

Editor’s note: In a previous version of the article, The Pitt News reported that United Students Against Sweatshops would participate in an “occupation” of Towers Patio. The article has been updated to clarify that USAW said they aren’t participating in an “occupation” but were planning on participating in a “speak-out rally.” The group has since decided to remove their affiliation from the rally.

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