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Police arrest pro-Palestinian activists barricaded in Stanford president’s office

‘Barricaded doors with bike locks, chains, ladders and chairs and covered security cameras with tin foil’

Pro-Palestinian activists who took over and occupied Stanford University President Richard Saller’s office on Wednesday were hauled out and arrested by police, but not before filming a demand video from the building and reportedly thrashing the place.

The demonstrators “barricaded themselves inside Building 10, the president’s office, located in Main Quad, at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, which marks Stanford’s last day of classes for spring quarter,” the Stanford Daily reported.

“Around 10 students are barricaded in the building, while about 50 others surrounded the building with linked arms. Once inside, protestors barricaded doors with bike locks, chains, ladders and chairs and covered security cameras with tin foil. Outside, protesters spray painted on a window, ‘Our office now,’ and chanted, ‘Palestine will be free, we will free Palestine,'” the student newspaper reported.

A video posted on Liberate Stanford’s Instagram page shows two police officers attempting to gain entry to the locked down building with some sort of mallet. A second video shows a police officer had to forcible break a glass window to gain entry into the building as protesters in the background chanted “free, free Palestine” and “no justice, no peace.”

Before being arrested, student activists occupying the president’s office broadcasted their demands, including that the board of trustees discuss divestment from Israel this month and amnesty for all student protesters on Stanford’s campus.

Liberate Stanford, which helped lead the takeover, posted on Instagram that students are not responsible for the vandalism and spray paint of the office, blaming it on “an autonomous group of community members.”

“Law enforcement has arrested 13 individuals, and the building has been cleared,” university spokesperson Dee Mostofi said in an email to The Associated Press, as reported by ABC. “There has been extensive damage to the interior and exterior of the building.”

Wednesday’s incident marks the second time a Stanford building has been taken over by pro-Palestinian protests in the span of a few weeks.

“On May 20, a group of demonstrators entered and attempted to occupy Building 570 amid a larger protest calling for divestment from Israel. The protestors blocked exits and prevented students from leaving the building. Around twenty minutes later, SUDPS broke up the group,” the Stanford Daily reported.

The arrests also come one week after Stanford faculty passed a free speech statement.

MORE: One third of Stanford students OK with violence to shut down speech: report

IMAGES: via Instagram

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.