Meetings on Disclosure, Divestment – Harvard Students Reach Agreement to End Encampment

The encampment at Harvard University. (Photo: via Harvard OOP TW Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“We are under no illusions: we do not believe that these meetings are divestment wins. These side deals are intended to pacify us away from bull disclosure & divestments. Rest assured, they will not.”

Students at Harvard University in the US have ended an encampment in support of Palestine after reaching an agreement with the university administration.

“As a pre-condition for decamping, administration will retract suspensions,” the Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine (HOOP) coalition of students said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Administration has also offered us meetings regarding disclosure and divestment with members of the Harvard Management Company and “conversations” regarding the establishment of a Center for Palestine Studies” at the university, the statement added.

‘Quietly Choke Us Out’

The agreement comes, HOOP said after three weeks of Havard having “mobilized all its resources to quietly choke us out.”

“Harvard shut its gates to the public, closed its building to the campers, suspended over twenty students, referred over 60 for further disciplinary charges, and turned Harvard Yard into a surveillance state. When students finished moving out of the Yard, police became the dominant presence,” the students stated.

Havard is one of dozens of universities and colleges across the US which saw students setting up encampments call for the institutions to cut ties with Israel as well as companies that support Tel Aviv which has been engaged in an ongoing military assault on the Gaza Strip since October last year.

Many of the encampments have resulted in clashes between police and students as well as the arrests and suspension of students at some schools.

HOOP students however said “We are under no illusions: we do not believe that these meetings are divestment wins. These side deals are intended to pacify us away from bull disclosure & divestments. Rest assured, they will not.”

‘Negotiated End’

According to the college newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, the university’s spokesperson “Jonathan L. Swain confirmed the University will encourage schools to begin processing petitions for reinstatement from involuntary leave.”

The paper said that despite University President Alan M. Garber “insisting that the University would not negotiate with the protesters, the outcome of the 20-day occupation of the Yard demonstrated that he ultimately preferred to continue seeking a negotiated end to the encampment than sending in Harvard University police officers to clear the tents and arrest protesters.”

The students said in their statement “We do not measure the success of our encampment in meetings, but rather in organizing capacity and consciousness.”

“The Harvard Liberated Zone ruptured our understanding of what we believed to be possible at an institution that serves as the rotten heart of a dying empire. It brought the student intifada to a school that trembles at the very world,” they said. “And it grew our organizing power such that we can only come back stronger in our fight for Palestine.”

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 35,233 Palestinians have been killed, and 79,141 injured in Israel’s ongoing genocidal attack on Gaza since October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Fight Continues

“Right now, Israel’s US-funded genocide in Palestine rages on. Our fight for Palestinian liberation does not begin nor end with this encampment. Harvard beware: the Liberated Zone is everywhere,” the students emphasized.

Protests began at Columbia University on April 17 and soon spread to other campuses in the US and across the world including European cities.

Students at New York’s Columbia University ripped up their diplomas, donned handcuffs, and displayed Palestinian flags during their graduation ceremony on Friday to protest the institute’s complicity in Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

According to American media reports, nearly 2,500 people have been arrested at pro-Palestinian rallies at college and university campuses across the US.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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