Anarchist UW students celebrate 'dropped' charges for occupying university president's office on Hannukah

"UW can’t charge us all, and they were barely able to drag everyone out of Gerberding... Imagine what’s next, when there are more of us.”

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA

According to the "Anarchist Newspaper" at the University of Washington (UW), which was also giddy about the news, students reportedly celebrated the charges being dropped against 6 of the anti-Israel, students who occupied the office of the university's president on the first night of Hannukah.

The campus “Anarchist Newspaper,” The Nightly, stated in a report, “Students celebrate this week as a disciplinary hearing on Monday concluded with UW dropping all charges and investigations of six of the students who had allegedly taken part in the December sit-in at Gerberding Hall.” 

The Post Millennial was unable to verify the penalties being dropped for the students.

The Nightly added, “This is seen as a major victory for the movement for solidarity with Palestine on campus and for students nationwide engaging in similar struggles.” 

After The Post Millennial reached out for comment from the UW, a spokesperson for the university stated, “The occupation of Gerberding Hall was a violation of the conduct code. While federal student privacy laws mean we cannot share any details about student conduct processes or outcome, the University takes violations of our policies seriously. We are taking appropriate measures under the student conduct code and will always take appropriate actions to ensure we remain a welcoming and accessible campus that prioritizes safety for all.” 

When asked if the Nightly’s report was accurate, the spokesperson responded, “Because that story makes specific claims about conduct proceedings involving specific students, federal student privacy law unfortunately prevents me from addressing its accuracy.” 

In December, approximately 50 anti-Israel activists targeted Gerberding Hall, the university’s administration building, and occupied the office of UW president Ana Marie Cauce on the first night  Hanukkah, in advance of the annual campus menorah lighting. 

Members of activist groups United Front for Palestinian Liberation and Students United for Palestinian Equality and Return (SUPER) refused to leave until the UW president agreed to their demands. The demands included "materially divest from Israel, end the repression of pro-Palestinian students and faculty," and cut ties with Boeing

During the occupation, roughly 100 more activists protested outside the building and called for the destruction of Israel, the ethnic cleansing of Jews and Christians living in Israel in English and Arabic, and they also vandalized the building. 

Though the activists claimed they were not targeting the campus menorah lighting, UW authorities moved the ceremony away from its original planned location.  

According to the university, "36 protesters were removed from the building and processed for investigation of criminal trespassing,” and by 9:30 p.m. the building was cleared. 

At the time, no one was arrested. The UW spokesperson told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI, "Each person was detained for investigation of criminal trespass, identified and photographed. Citations were not issued immediately, and no one was taken to jail. There are also student conduct proceedings that may apply, and we’ll be following up on those." 

However, the spokesperson did not elaborate on what those proceedings were. 

The Nightly celebrated their comrades' alleged victory over the university, writing, “For now we should celebrate all our victories and continue to engage with the movement for the long haul. UW can’t charge us all, and they were barely able to drag everyone out of Gerberding, taking four hours to do so. Imagine what’s next, when there are more of us.” 

The outlet also called for “meaningful disciplinary action” against the university and Seattle police officers who removed the activists from the building.

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