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Sikes Hall sit-in: Clemson students join pro-Palestine protests

Justin Robertson
Clemson Students protesting for pro-Palestine outside of Sikes Hall.

An earlier version of this article stated that the City of Clemson Police were present at the event when it was the Clemson University Police Department. The Tiger regrets this error and has since corrected it.

A group of Clemson students participated in the wave of pro-Palestine protests taking place across colleges in the U.S. in a sit-in protest in front of Sikes Hall on May 4 and 5.

Similar protests have occurred on multiple different college campuses, including Columbia University, the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan, resulting in a multitude of arrests.

Clemson’s protest was scheduled to take place on May 1 but was moved after the University informed individuals that anyone participating would be suspended and would have their diplomas held if they graduated within the week.

“Clemson has a facility use policy stating you cannot protest during finals, and to avoid suspension, we were asked to move it to Saturday,” Abigail Friedman, a senior political science major, told The Tiger in an interview.

“The activities or events shall not take place during the dates of final exams of any academic semester or three (3) days prior to the first date of any final exams,” according to Section 3.4a of the University Facilities Use Policy.

Friedman, as the coordinator of the protest, worked together with the University and the Upstate Voices for Palestine group to push for a ceasefire within Gaza, claiming it was an act of genocide.

Posters at the protest read, “Listen to the ICJ,” “My grandma did not survive Auschwitz for Israel to bomb Gaza” and “Bothered by protests? Look away like you do genocide!”

There were also activists supporting Israel present at the protest, as well as signs reading, “Stand with Israel” and individuals holding the Israeli flag.

Clemson University Police Deparment officers were on site to ensure safety due to the chaos that had previously occurred on other campuses with protests.

“The police were amazing; they helped us every step of the way and were very amicable,” Friedman said.

No students were arrested at the sit-in protest.

Alongside the protest, the pro-Palestine activists are demanding that “Clemson declare the war a genocide of Palestinians and a humanitarian crime,” which led to a brief pause in the demonstration as University administration agreed to meet with Friedman, according to The Post and Courier.

“We will not be at Clemson University tomorrow! A member from Clemson University admin has agreed to hear our demands and I am awaiting a response. Our future actions will depend on the response we receive,” the Upstate Voices for Palestine Instagram story said on May 5.

As of May 6, the University has not given an official response to the demands of the activists or the protest itself, which will resume on May 7 from 2-7 p.m.

On May 6, Hamas accepted an Egyptian-Qatari proposal to lead to a ceasefire in Gaza, although Israel’s stance on this idea is uncertain, according to the Associated Press.

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Alexis Nigro
Alexis Nigro, Senior Reporter
Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
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