The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Pro-Palestinian protesters gather on Pitt’s campus, demand action from University

Pro-Palestinian+protesters+gather+on+Pitt%E2%80%99s+campus%2C+demand+action+from+University
Ethan Shulman

Hundreds of student protesters and community activists gathered in front of the Cathedral of Learning and William Pitt Union throughout Sunday evening for a march and subsequent rally in support of Palestine. The protesters demanded that Pitt divest from any funds supporting Israel. 

The protest is a continuation of the sit-in in support of Palestine that began at Pitt on Apr. 23. The protest at Pitt is occurring in tandem with a number of similar student protests across the country, which are demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and for universities to divest from Israel. The encampment at Pitt is entering its seventh day as of Monday. 

Brian Sherry

Two students were arrested on Sunday evening and later released for unclear reasons.

Students for Justice in Palestine at Pitt, which helped organize the protest along with other Pittsburgh-based groups, posted its mission statement on Instagram Tuesday. The post reaffirmed the group’s solidarity with other student protests across the country and demanded “an end to institutional investment in the colonization of Palestine and institutional repression of [their] movement.”

Organizers led several different chants throughout the protest, such as “Free free Palestine” and “Cease fire now, let Gaza live.” The organizers also led a chant demanding that Chancellor Gabel negotiate with them. A number of police officers stood nearby protesters monitoring the situation.

During a pause in the chants, one of the organizers spoke to the crowd of protesters about why they were continuing to protest.

“I know everyone is tired, but we’ve been negotiating, and we’re trying to bring [Pitt Chancellor] Joan Gabel or [Pitt Associate Vice Chancellor] Costello here,” the organizer said.

The organizer also said they want “a real feasible divestment plan,” among other demands listed on a cardboard sign in the encampment, including “full disclosure of all university investments in the Israeli apartheid regime” and “an acknowledgment of genocide and a statement in solidarity with the Palestinian people by the university administration.”

“If they don’t come, we stay here,” the organizer said.

Ethan Shulman

Sophia, a rising senior law criminal justice and society major who chose not to give her last name, attended protests earlier in the week and “had friends that have been camping out for days.” 

“I feel like a lot of students left, but everybody here now seems to be members of the community that have come out,” Sophia said.

Sonny, a local community member who chose not to give their last name, said they joined the protest “to support the Pitt students who are protesting and to support Palestine.”

“I’m glad to see a pretty big turnout of people supporting the students,” Sonny said. “I’m curious to know what the situation is. I’ve heard bits and pieces. I hope it doesn’t escalate.”

A small group of counter-protesters stood near the protest waving Israeli flags. Junior exercise science major Ilan Gordon was part of the group. 

“I’m praying for my friends and family in Israel here because I am a proud Jewish person on our campus,” Gordon said.

Gordon also attended a counter-protest on Thursday night, where he said they were yelled at and “told to go back to Europe as Jewish people.”

“I am here against hatred of any kind, and I just want the Israeli hostages to come home,” Gordon said.

The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the protestors or their demands. 

Ethan Shulman

 

About the Contributors
Brian Sherry, Sports Editor
Ethan Shulman, Visual Editor
My name is Ethan Shulman and I am a junior Civil Engineering student. I first began my photography journey while attending summer camp as a child! Today, I love all types of photography but I love shooting sports and cultural events the most!