Home Wisconsin UW admin, protesters reach agreement to end encampment

UW admin, protesters reach agreement to end encampment

A reconstituted encampment takes up Library Mall on the UW campus. Photo by Rodlyn-mae Banting.

University of Wisconsin adminstrators will facilitate talks between Students for Justice in Palestine and “relevant decision-makers at the Wisconsin Foundation and
Alumni Association and the Universities of Wisconsin” to discuss disclosure of investments in companies tied to the Israeli military and divestment from those companies, and “commits to enhancing its engagement with and support for scholars and students impacted by war, violence, occupation and displacement, including in places such as Gaza and Ukraine,” in exchange for the removal of the protest encampment that has occupied Library Mall for 11 days, according to an agreement released by the university Friday afternoon.

In addition to removing the encampment this afternoon, SJP agreed that future activities will adhere to university regulations.

UW further agreed to request UW Police use “discretion” in its review of individual disciplinary cases rising from the May 1 police raid of the encampment, which resulted in 34 arrests and four people being booked into the Dane County Jail.

This has been a difficult period for our campus, our nation and the world,” UW administrators wrote in a statement. “We want to be clear that UW–Madison supports peaceful student protest, fully respects the First Amendment, and has done so throughout this year. We appreciate that the encampment, named by SJP the Gaza Solidarity Encampment, although in violation of Chapter 18, was motivated by understandably passionate feelings about the devastation in Gaza, and was a source of community for many participants.”

SJP organizers could not be reached for comment, and have not posted any statements online as of 3:00 pm Friday. We will update this story to include any statements they make.