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Live updates: Protesters issued warning to clear camp on Monday, no timeline set

Boxes and tarps piled on a green lawn, with students standing around them. In the background, a stone building covered in ivy.
Students at the sit-in.
Ammaar Alam / The Daily Princetonian.

This story is breaking and will be updated as additional information becomes available.

The “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” at Princeton is nearing its end after nineteen days. The protesters have begun to pack up decorations and supplies after two successive meetings with administrators early Tuesday morning. 


On Monday evening, University President Christopher Eisgruber issued a statement, in part, warning protesters to leave Cannon Green. “We are now letting the protestors know that they need to clear Cannon Green and respect the University’s need for it and other common spaces, so that the University may prepare for and produce end-of-year events,” he wrote. 

Shortly after the statement was issued, organizers told The Daily Princetonian, “Our demands remain the same.” They reiterated the sentiment in an Instagram post later Monday evening.

Protesters bid farewell to sit-in at rally — May 15, 8:18 p.m.

In the front, several individuals face a sundial which a speaker is standing on. In the back, a gray stone building.
Students and community members spoke at a rally in McCosh Courtyard Wednesday afternoon.
Ryan Konarska / The Daily Princetonian

About 150 students, faculty, and community members attended a rally to commemorate “Nakba Day” that eventually moved to McCosh Courtyard, where the sit-in began on the morning of April 25. There, a number of people reflected on their memories of the past three week through intermittent rain.

“When I think about what I learned from what this movement could look like, I want it to be characterized by the love and the care and the trust and the warmth that I have seen over the past three weeks,” Noura Shoukfeh ’25 told the crowd.


The beginning of the rally featured a speech by Sireen Sawalha, a local high school teacher, spoke about the impacts of the Nakba on her own family, including her father, who she said fled to Abu Dhabi.

“He died wishing he would be buried with his brothers, with his father in Nazareth,” she said through tears. “I could not keep his wish … he had no right to return, as alive or as dead. That’s the Palestinian story.”

After speakers concluded at McCosh Courtyard, protesters marched to Nassau Street and returned to Cannon Green through FitzRandolph Gate and past Nassau Hall.

Organizers announce sit-in will disband — May 15, 5:00 p.m.

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Today will be the last day of the Gaza Solidarity Encampment at Princeton, organizers announced in a statement on Wednesday. Notably, organizers once again publicly indicated plans to continue protests at Princeton Reunions, which begin at the end of next week. Several events remain scheduled for the sit-in’s Nakba Day programming on Cannon Green, including a rally at 5:30 p.m. and a vigil at 8 p.m. 

The hunger strike is also over, a spokesperson for Princeton Israeli Apartheid Divest (PIAD) confirmed. Seven students began hunger striking on Sunday after 13 students who had been forgoing food since Friday, May 3 ended their strike, citing health concerns.

“We are capable of more than we ever knew possible. We have sustained this encampment for three weeks, even after Princeton forced us to remove our tents under threat of arrest on the very first morning,” organizers wrote in their statement. “We reject the university’s attempts to deradicalize and divide us through endless processes, meetings, and committees. Our demands remain the same — with or without an encampment.”

The University has said that it will not budge on some of the sit-in’s key demands, including an academic boycott of Israeli institutions, divestment from the American military, or publicly calling for a ceasefire. President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 wrote in a Monday email that doing so was impossible “without breaching principles fundamental to the University’s governance and mission.”

Legal and disciplinary amnesty for the 15 arrestees has become a central demand for protesters since the start of the sit-in, in part motivating the beginning of the hunger strike. Eisgruber offered a “restorative justice” process but did not include specific details, and said that it would be possible for students to walk at Commencement and earn their degrees. Four of the participants arrested in the Clio Hall sit-in are members of the undergraduate Class of 2024, and one graduate student arrested in McCosh courtyard was also set to graduate this semester.

But the sit-in has gained ground in other issue areas. The Resources Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Committee (CPUC), which is reviews petitions for divestment and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees, met on Monday to discuss divestment from companies linked to “Israel’s ongoing military campaign, occupation, and apartheid policies” as outlined by the sit-in’s demands. Eisgruber also wrote that the University has offered to convene a working group for Palestinian students, faculty, and staff.

In their statement, organizers of the sit-in said they will continue “undeterred.”

“See you at Reunions,” they concluded.

Sit-in will stay another night — May 15, 2:47 a.m.

The sit-in on Cannon Green will continue through tomorrow, organizers announced at a town hall. They did not specify a timeline for clearing the space entirely following a series of meetings with administrators throughout the day about decamping. 

“[University President Christopher] Eisgruber failed to provide a clear timeline, emphasizing a smooth return to ‘business as usual’ in a time of genocide,” organizers for Princeton Israeli Apartheid Divest (PIAD) wrote in a press release. “He failed to let us know how and camp would be cleared, demanding a collective movement respond on his terms.”

Tomorrow, May 15, is Nakba Day, which commemorates the displacement of Palestinians in 1948 during the establishment of the state of Israel. The sit-in has planned several events, including a rally at 5:30 on Cannon Green.

The sit-in’s press release also took broad aim at the email sent by Eisgruber on Monday night asking protestors to clear camp and offering a meeting on divestment earlier today by the committee of the Council of the Princeton University Committee (CPUC) that oversees the endowment.

PIAD said that the meeting “must be understood as a response to student pressure” and said that they were not formally notified about the meeting.

Meeting with administrators concludes, encampment still remains — May 14, 5:20 p.m.

A group of protesters met with Deans Jarrett Fisher and Ian Deas from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) around 2:30 p.m. in a seminar room in Morrison Hall. Fisher and Deas left at approximately 2:55 p.m., but the rest of the group seems to have remained inside for at least another hour. Fisher declined to comment on the contents of the meeting.

By 5 p.m., some of those inside the meeting had returned to the camp, where it had been drizzling on and off throughout the afternoon. Upwards of 20 protesters were present on Cannon Green as of time of publication.

Despite a call on listservs, circulated by several student groups, no students have shown up to “surround the perimeter” of the encampment. Further, no “sweep” by the University has come.

Princeton Israeli Apartheid Divest issues statement — May 14, 2:40 p.m.

On X, Princeton Israeli Apartheid Divest (PIAD) posted a statement at 12:55 p.m. criticizing University administration for their communication regarding the timeline for decampment. The post went on to criticize Public Safety officials and University administrators for their “purposefully opaque interactions with encampment organizers,” claiming that University officials have repeatedly attempted to set deadlines for decampment. They also drew attention to the University’s efforts to allow facilities workers to clear the camp.

In response to the statement, University Spokesperson Jennifer Morrill wrote in a statement to the ‘Prince,’ “The University is informing those on Cannon Green that they must remove all materials and belongings from the area. The University needs to begin preparing Cannon Green immediately for end-of-academic-year activities, including repairs to the grounds.”

Shortly before 2:30 p.m., a group of protesters and administrators entered Morrison Hall for a meeting. Protesters have mostly halted cleaning up the encampment at this point, and nearly 50 remain on Cannon Green.

Organizers to reconvene with ODUS by 2:30 p.m. — May 14, 12:53 p.m.

Protesters gathered at the northwest corner of Cannon Green around 12:10 p.m. for a discussion with Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students Jarrett Fisher. Although the meeting was initially emotionally charged, within about 15 minutes, the parties came to an agreement that protesters would take time to eat lunch and plan for next steps before reconvening around 2:30 p.m. 

Protesters are hoping to remain on Cannon Green for another day. Around noon, ​​Princeton Israeli Apartheid Divest posted an advertisement for a rally tomorrow to mark “Nakba Day,” which  commemorates the displacement of Palestinians in 1948 every year on May 15. Fisher has requested that they determine details for potential programming tomorrow, including setting a time for when the encampment will be cleared, by the time they meet later this afternoon.

Student groups call students to surround Cannon Green, decamping continues — May 14, 10:51 a.m.

In a letter to the residential college listservs, protesters wrote “ALL HANDS ON DECK AT CANNON GREEN.” They called students to “Come to Cannon Green NOW and surround the perimeter — our voices must be heard.”

The Princeton Young Democratic-Socialists of America (YDSA) reposted the call on their Instagram.

The note recommended that protesters wear “sunglasses and/or masks.” They also advised those on the perimeter to “record the sweep instead of holding your ground till arrest.” They continued, “given warning, please comply.”

After 20 minutes, no students have appeared to fulfill the request.

People on a blue cherrypicker machine handle cords wrapped over tree branches. A banner hangs from another branch, reading, "Palestine will..."
University Facilities set up electrical cords as part of preparations for upcoming University events.
Ryan Konarska / The Daily Princetonian

Facilities begin to erect signs around Cannon Green: “This space is CLOSED.” — May 14, 10:24 a.m.

Protesters are actively decamping — piling up tarps, blankets, and supplies on the west end of Cannon Green. Facilities have put up barriers, interspersed around the camp’s perimeter, with signs which read, “This space is closed in preparation for University events.” In his letter yesterday, Eisgruber wrote that “The sit-in makes it impossible to ready the green for Class Day and other events.” A large electronic billboard at the southwest corner displays the same message.

According to organizers, representatives from the University told them that the signs mean no one can bring in and set up any new supplies, but that no one is subject to disciplinary action just for being on Cannon Green at this time.

A grassy field with various people and piles of supplies. A large electronic billboard reads "This space is closed."
The new billboard, at 10:44 a.m.
Vitus Larrieu / The Daily Princetonian
A white barrier with a sign that reads "This space is closed in preparation for University events"
Annie Rupertus / The Daily Princetonian
Men in button-down shirts and ties talk to someone in a hoodie and face mask
Rohit Narayanan / The Daily Princetonian

Administration and protesters to convene at 11:45 a.m., U. maintains vague deadline — May 14, 9:57 a.m.

After convening for a brief “morning meeting,” approximately 15 protesters began to pack up their supplies. Shortly thereafter, some confronted Fisher, Deas, Ward, and Strother about the deadline to decamp. 

Strother told the protesters that facilities plans to enter the encampment today. As he began to outline what may or may not happen if the encampment’s timeline did not correspond to the University’s timeline, a protester interrupted to ask, “It’ll work out when we get to it, right?”

“Well, we’re there now,” Strother responded. 

The University administrators offered to collect belongings to a warehouse where they may be collected by community members at a later date. Protesters raised concerns, preferring to have community members arrive to the green and collect their belongings.

The two parties agreed to convene at 11:45 a.m. to discuss decamping logistics further.

Administrators enter the encampment for first time — May 14, 8:05 a.m.

At approximately 8:05 a.m., Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) Deans Jarrett Fisher and Ian Deas, as well as Free Expression Coordinator Jessica Ward, entered Cannon Green to speak with protesters. This is the first time administrators have entered the encampment. A back-and-forth exchange between the two parties lasted about 15 minutes.

From the North West corner of the Cannon Green, Assistant Vice President for Public Safety Kenneth Strother Jr. looked on. Both parties declined to comment on the content of the discussion. Once the conversation ended, the administrators filed into Morrison Hall.

Twenty minutes later, Strother joined the administrators in a second conversation, crossing into the encampment for a second time. 

“We need to start seeing some decamping,” Strother told the protesters, according to a clipped video shared on the Princeton Israel Aparthaid Divest (PIAD) account.

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