Pitzer demonstrations continue; protesters meeting with administration

Demonstrators from the pro-Palestinian encampment at Pitzer College rally Thursday outside McConnell Center. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

By Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

Demonstrators from the pro-Palestinian encampment at Pitzer College held a divestment rally Thursday afternoon, banging on pots and chanting demands the school to disclose and divest from companies with ties to Israel outside the university’s McConnell Center, where a Pitzer College Council meeting was taking place.

Encampment demonstrators are meeting with Pitzer leadership at the school’s Broad Center today.

Demonstrators from the pro-Palestinian encampment at Pitzer College held a divestment rally Thursday outside the university’s McConnell Center. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

Prior to Thursday’s rally students from the encampment moved tents to the outskirts of the Commencement Plaza lawn. Leaders instructed them to remain safe by traveling in packs and avoiding media and campus security. After more discussion demonstrators moved to McConnell Center where they then began chanting and banging on pots. The rally ended just after 4:30 p.m. and the students returned the nearby encampment.

The encampment sprung up in the early morning on April 26. Students have said it will remain until their demands are met. Among them are that Pitzer and other Claremont Colleges divest and disclose business dealings with Israeli-linked companies; Pitzer adheres to an academic boycott of Israeli institutions; Pitzer reexamines its protest policy while supporting student’s rights to demonstrate; and the school lifts sanctions against five Pitzer students arrested on April 5 for occupying Alexander Hall.

Earlier in the day, Pomona College faculty voted overwhelmingly in favor of divesting from corporations with ties to Israel. Out of the 140 faculty who participated in the vote, 64% voted in favor of divestment, 28% against, and 9% abstained, according to a news release from Pomona Divest from Apartheid, a Pomona College student-led coalition.

“Faculty, through this resolution, ask the College to begin with removing direct investments in the eleven firms widely identified by Palestinian civic organizations: Barclays, CAF, Caterpillar Inc., Chevron, Elbit Systems Ltd., HD Hyundai, HIKVision, Intel, JCB, TKF Security, Volvo,” read the release. “Faculty are also demanding a written and in-person report from the trustees’ investment committee regarding the status of this request no later than the first faculty meeting following the trustees’ October meeting.”


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