Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

MPD Clears GW Encampment, Arrests 33

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrested 33 pro-Palestinian protesters at an encampment on George Washington University’s (GWU) campus at around 4 a.m. May 8. 

Police arrived on the campus at around 3 a.m. yelling on loudspeakers that those who wanted to leave the encampment by themselves could, but those who refused to leave would be subject to arrest. Students from Georgetown University and other universities in the Washington, D.C. area had joined GWU students at the encampment in University Yard at their Foggy Bottom campus; it is unclear if any Georgetown students are among those arrested. 

Caitlin McLean/The Hoya

In a statement, MPD said police arrested protesters for “assault on a police officer” and “unlawful entry.” Some protesters have already been released from police custody.

Videos and posts on social media show police pushing protesters, at times with bikes, and spraying pepper spray at protesters. In one video, a protester is heard yelling, “Medic. We need a medic.” 

Encampment organizers from DMV SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine), a coalition of pro-Palestine student clubs from universities around the D.C. area, described the encampment clearing as violent and unnecessary.

“This cowardly attack on our encampment in the middle of the night is a shameful display of violence and repression against students,” DMV SJP wrote on Instagram at around 4 a.m. 

Organizers do not plan to stop their efforts until GWU commits to divestment and have called for supporters to “rally” at H St. NW and 21st St. NW, outside University Yard, according to the post. 


The clearing of the encampment came in advance of a planned hearing today on Capitol Hill on antisemitism in schools. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and MPD Chief Pamela Smith were both expected to testify before the Republican-led House Oversight Committee, before Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the committee’s chair, canceled the hearing at around 9 a.m. 

Following the Metropolitan Police Department finally clearing out the unlawful encampment on GW’s campus, I am very pleased to announce that the hearing with Mayor Bowser has been canceled,” Comer wrote in a statement posted to X. “I am pleased that the potential Oversight hearing led to swift action by Mayor Bowser and MPD Chief Smith.”

For weeks, GWU President Ellen Granberg and other GWU officials had threatened protesters with suspension and other disciplinary action if they did not clear the encampment, one of many that has sprung up on college campuses around the country. 

Granberg had previously asked Bowser for assistance clearing the encampment from GWU’s campus, which she has called “unlawful.” “We continue to ask for the full support of our partners, including the District of Columbia, in pursuing these aims,” Granberg wrote in a May 5 message to members of the GWU campus community.

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About the Contributor
Caitlin McLean
Caitlin McLean, Chair of the Board
Caitlin McLean is a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences from New York, N.Y., studying government and history with a minor in journalism. She does not know how to drive. [email protected]
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