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

Developing: Seven Georgetown Students Among Arrested at GWU Pro-Palestinian Encampment

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

Seven Georgetown University students were among 33 protesters Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers arrested in the early hours of May 8 at George Washington University’s (GWU) pro-Palestinian encampment, according to MPD arrest records. 

MPD cleared the encampment at around 3:30 a.m. May 8 after GWU President Ellen Granberg asked police to remove what she had called an “illegal and potentially dangerous occupation” of GWU’s University Yard (U-Yard). The arrested Georgetown students are undergraduates.

MPD charged all seven Georgetown students with unlawful entry, a misdemeanor charge, according to police records. 

While MPD did not confirm how many of the arrests were Georgetown students, The Hoya independently verified that seven students were among the 33 arrested. 

MPD was not able to immediately provide The Hoya with the arrest information May 8. 

We are still gathering names, charges, and other information for a release,” Officer Lee Lepe of MPD’s Office of Communications wrote to The Hoya on May 8.

Besides the Georgetown students, 11 of the arrestees identified themselves as GWU students, and one individual was a minor, according to MPD Deputy Director of Communications Paris Lewbel.

A Georgetown University spokesperson did not respond immediately to The Hoya’s requests for comment on whether the university would seek disciplinary action against the arrested students.

The arrests of students in GWU’s U-Yard comes amid arrests at universities around the United States for similar pro-Palestinian encampments. Police have arrested or detained over 2,700 people on campuses across the country regarding their participation in encampment-style pro-Palestine protests, according to The New York Times.

Since April 25, students from eight schools in the DMV area, including Georgetown and GWU, have been protesting in the encampment, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and for their respective universities to divest from Israel, among other demands. Organizers vowed to continue their protest despite the arrests.  

Although MPD had initially refused to clear the encampment, it eventually did so eight hours before Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and MPD Chief Pamela Smith were expected to testify before the House Oversight Committee about anti-semitism in a hearing which Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) canceled after police cleared the encampment. 

Videos of MPD’s raid on the encampment show police pushing demonstrators, at times with bikes, and deploying pepper spray against them. 

U-Yard will remain closed through GWU’s commencement on May 19, according to an email to GWU community members which The Hoya obtained. 

In response to the arrests, DMV Students for Justice in Palestine plans to host a rally rejecting the MPD’s intervention and demonstrating their continued solidarity with Palestinians at 5 p.m at H St. and 21st St. NW.

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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]
Evie Steele
Evie Steele, Executive Editor
Evie Steele is a sophomore in the SFS from New York, N.Y., studying international politics with minors in international development and Chinese. She has been on TV twice and has been quoted in Deadline once. [email protected]
Evan Ecklund
Evan Ecklund, Copy Chief
Evan Ecklund is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from Houston, Texas, studying government with minors in Spanish and journalism. She has an identical twin sister and they share a birthday with their dog Willie. [email protected]
Michelle Vassilev
Michelle Vassilev is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences from Princeton, N.J., studying English with minors in public health and journalism. She is training for a marathon in the French countryside, and she loves Argentine tango.
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