Demonstration Ends After Protesters Refuse to Comply with University Policy

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On Wednesday, the pro-Palestine protest continued peacefully. A separate counterdemonstration near the Edgar Shannon Library was also held without incident. On Thursday, the original protest continued uneventfully.

On Friday morning, after several days of conversations with University leaders, demonstrators delivered a statement outlining their interests. Hours later, University officials responded. UVA leaders offered to continue conversations about how and where the University Investment Management Company invests funds.

The University also agreed that the demonstrators would not risk discipline for protesting, as long as the gathering remained peaceful and followed the law and UVA policies. However, the University declined demonstrators’ demand to cancel all academic programming involving Israel.

“To terminate study abroad programs, fellowships, research collaborations, and other collaborations with Israeli academic institutions would compromise our commitment to academic freedom and our obligation to enabling the free exchange of ideas on our Grounds, both of which are bedrock values of the University,” the response read in part.

On Friday night, according to the University’s timeline, demonstrators began erecting tents near the University Chapel and started using megaphones, both in violation of University policies that the group had previously agreed to follow. However, because children were present at the site, heavy rain was in the area, and the demonstrators remained peaceful, University officials allowed the tents to remain overnight.

On Saturday at 8 a.m., UVA Police Chief Tim Longo told the group the tents would have to come down or they would be collected by facilities management workers. The demonstrators became agitated, police said. Officers disengaged.

Around 11:45 a.m., University and local police arrived to tell the demonstrators the group was in violation of University policies and gave the protesters 10 minutes to leave.

At about 2:45 p.m., police declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly” and again urged protesters to leave. Most remained and some from the crowd of spectators joined. State police officers prepared to enforce the order.

In an operation that took about 90 minutes after police declared the unlawful assembly, officers from several jurisdictions moved demonstrators and spectators out of the area between the Chapel and the Rotunda so members of UVA Facilities Management could gather the tents and other materials.


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