Pro-Palestine protesters take over Stanford president's office

Pro-Palestinian protesters took over the Stanford president's office early Wednesday morning, drawing a large police presence in reaction and ending in 13 arrests. 

The university said all the students who were arrested will be immediately suspended, and if they are seniors, will not be allowed to graduate. 

The university also said that a public safety officer was injured after being shoved by protesters who were interfering with a transport vehicle. Plus, according to the university, there was "extensive damage" to the interior of Building 10 and the exterior of the buildings in the quad.

"We are appalled that our students chose to take this action, and we will work with law enforcement to ensure that they face the full consequences allowed by law," Stanford President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez said in a joint statement. "We have consistently emphasized the need for constructive engagement and peaceful protest when there is a disagreement in views. This was not a peaceful protest and actions such as what occurred this morning have no place at Stanford."

The protesters, mostly students, surrounded Building 10 at about 5:30 a.m., where President Richard Saller works, as does the provost.  

The door was busted; it wasn't immediately clear if the protesters broke the door, or if police did.

The protesters also showed photos from inside the office that showed what looked like blood, or fake blood, smeared on photos on the president's desk. There was also what looked like red paint with the word "SHAME" smeared on a life-like cardboard cutout of Saller.  There were also messages written in graffiti over campus, such as: "De@th 2 Isr@hell," "Kill Cops," "Pigs Taste Best Dead" and "School $$$ Is Blood $$$."

Protesters aid they renamed Building 10 "Dr. Adnan's Office" in honor of a Palestinian General Surgeon who died in an Israeli detention facility. 

Protesters, wrapped in keffiyehs, or a traditional Middle Eastern scarf, shouted "shame, shame" at police and held signs that read "David and Goliath," "Divest Now," and "Revolution Until Victory." 

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Pro-Palestinian protesters take over the Stanford university president's office June 5, 2024 


Pro-Palestinian protesters took pictures of what appeared to be blood, or fake blood, on the university president's desk. June 5, 2024

Protesters denied that the university has worked with them on issues related to the Israel-Hamas war. 

The protesters said they have held 20 rallies since Oct. 7 and none have produced answers to their demands.

"Over the past eight months, Israel has subjected Gaza to a severe siege and relentless bombing campaign, resulting in the deaths of over 35,000 Palestinians, nearly half of whom were children," the group said in a news release.

Stanford holds "multi-million dollar investments" in corporations that provide "material and logistical support to Israel’s current military campaign against Palestinian life," including Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin, and Chevron.

"Despite eight months of genocidal violence, Stanford administration has refused to even consider divestment from these companies," the protesters wrote.

The protesters' demands include divesting from these companies, disclosing its finances for 2022, including the totality of its endowment holdings, and dropping all disciplinary charges against pro-Palestinian student activists. 

College campuses have been hotbeds of pro-Palestinian protests, including UC Santa Cruz, where last week, police arrested 80 protesters for blocking university entrances for several days. 

At Stanford, protesters had been protesting and sleeping in tents on campus, as they called on the school to divest from Israel.

In fact, last year, protesters set up a sprawling encampment, Sit-in to Stop Genocide, in White Plaza, which became the longest sit-in in Stanford history, until administrators enforced a camping ban in February "out of concern for the health and safety of our students."