UPenn protests: 19 arrested, 6 of them students, as protesters attempted to occupy campus building

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters once again converged on the University of Pennsylvania in an effort to seize a campus building.

They began gathering about 8 p.m. Friday evening and moved on Fisher Bennett Hall, at 34th and Walnut streets.

The occupation comes one week after police dismantled an encampment that had taken over part of Penn’s campus for two weeks.

Protesters were met by police and were not permitted into Fisher Bennett Hall. According to the university, 19 people, including six students, were arrested. 12 were cited for a failure to disperse, among other charges. Those individuals were then released.

The university said seven other people are still in custody and are awaiting felony charges, including one for assault of a police officer.

In a statement, the group accused the University of Penn administration of not negotiating with them in good faith over what the group calls Penn’s investment with Israel.

A university spokesperson stated, "Earlier this evening, a group of individuals entered Fisher-Bennett Hall on Penn’s campus and attempted to occupy it. Penn Police, with support from Philadelphia Police, escorted them out and secured the building, taking several individuals into custody. The situation remains active."


UPenn protest: 9 students among more than 30 arrested as police dismantle pro-Palestine tent encampment

More than 30 pro-Palestine protesters were arrested after police moved in and dismantled a tent encampment on UPenn's campus Friday morning.

The gathering was dispersed about 10:30, when many of them walked south on 34th, heading for Franklin Field, the sight of the university's graduation ceremony, to be held Monday. They were met by police along with barricades and metal detectors set up in advance of the ceremony.

The group seemed to be prepared to hold Fisher Bennett Hall, university officials said. In Friday night’s aftermath, Penn Police found lock-picking tools and homemade metal shields they crafted from oil drums. Penn Police said they also found exit doors had been zip-tied along with barbed wire attached to the doors and they were barricaded with metal chairs and desks. Additionally, windows were covered with cardboard and newspapers and bike racks and metal chairs blocked outside doors.

Protesters on campuses nationwide have grown in numbers since April, with protesters at many local universities taking part in peaceful protests of Israel’s handling of the war in Gaza.