Police Clear Pro-Palestinian Encampment at Penn

The Philadelphia Police Department cleared an encampment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators off the campus of the University of Pennsylvania early Friday morning, making arrests and bringing an end to a two-week standoff between administrators and protesting students.

Video from the scene, shot by one of the protesters, showed a group of protesters on College Green near a statue of Benjamin Franklin, encircled by police in riot gear. Police sealed off Locust Walk with barricades and closed part of Walnut Street to traffic. Some protesters were taken away in police vans. Exactly how many people had been arrested could not immediately be learned.

Sahir Muhammad, a 23 year-old Temple University graduate who had joined the protesters before dawn on Friday, said that police officers started arresting people shortly after 6 a.m., and that he was lifted off his feet and carried out of the encampment when officers saw that he was shooting video.

“The police literally gripped me up and took me off the premises,” he said.

Mr. Muhammad was taken to the corner of 34th and Walnut streets, where he joined a group of protesters who were chanting and trying to block police vans from leaving.

Mr. Muhammad’s video shows a group of roughly 40 protesters on College Green standing a few yards from a line of police in riot gear.

The move to clear the encampment came a day after Gov. Josh Shapiro said it was “past time” for Penn’s administration to clear the encampment. “Over the last 24 hours at the University of Pennsylvania, the situation has gotten even more unstable and out of control,” he said, speaking at an unrelated news conference near Pittsburgh.

The governor, a Democrat, is a nonvoting member of Penn’s board of trustees.

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