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Michigan pro-Palestinian encampment staying despite asks from university to leave

Student protestors say they've been asked to leave but are steadfast in their beliefs and goals and plan to stay
The University of Michigan encampment is heading into its third week on campus
Posted at 11:34 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 11:31:54-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Tensions are allegedly rising between pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Michigan and school officials.

The pro-Palestinian encampment built on the Diag is demanding the school divests money from companies profiting from the war in Gaza. Students say they’ve been asked to leave by school officials but remain steadfast in their goals.

The encampment has remained on the Diag for approximately three weeks now, with goals of bringing attention to the war in Gaza.

“I hope our continued presence here, you know, we’re going on three weeks... is heard," student protester Ember McCoy said. "I really hope the university can see us and feel us and hear us and know that we’re going to continue to push for this divestment campaign.”

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Student protester Ember McCoy at the University of Michigan's campus. (May 13, 2024)

Peaceful songs filled the pro-Palestinian encampment site at the University of Michigan Monday evening. However, student protesters like McCoy know that could all change this week.

“We’ve had some admin people from the university coming out in the morning and talking to our police liaisons and we’ve kind of felt that increasing over the last few days," she said. "They made it clear this weekend we’re not supposed to be here and that we’re not supposed to have tents overnight here."

The University of Michigan encampment is heading into its third week on campus
The University of Michigan encampment is heading into its third week on campus

McCoy says she's seen the other encampments around the country be raided and hopes it doesn't come to that in Ann Arbor.

"I think it would actually show a lot if they choose to bring the police in instead of actually just talk to their own students," McCoy said.

Protesters say they will continue to occupy the Diag until their voices and demands are heard from the school.

7 News Detroit reached out to the school to see if there are plans to clear out the encampment and if arrests would be made if protesters refuse to leave, but we have not heard back as of Monday evening.