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Denver students enter week 2 of Palestine solidarity encampment with sit-in, win disclosure

By staff

Denver students demand universities break all ties with Israel.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Denver, CO – On Tuesday, May 7, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a rally and sit-in at the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences (AES) building at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Since April 25, students have been camping on the Tivoli Quad on campus to demand that the University of Colorado and the Metropolitan State University of Denver divest from Israel.

Although student leaders have met with the administration of both universities multiple times, thus far negotiations have stalled, and the schools seem unwilling to grant the students' demands. MSU Denver specifically has a partnership with Lockheed Martin, with an entire floor of the AES building dedicated to Lockheed manufacturing.

Earlier in the day, student leaders met with Angie Paccione, head of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, to discuss their demands. During the meeting, other students rallied outside of the student union where the meeting was taking place.

During the meeting, the Auraria Campus Police Department handcuffed the doors to the student union shut, in apparent fear that more protesters may enter the building. In response to this, MSU Denver President Janine Davidson released a (now redacted) statement which falsely claimed that protesters had handcuffed the doors shut rather than the campus police.

In response to these lies, SDS called for a rally at the AES building to demand a phone call with President Davidson. The students chose the AES building due to its financial connections to Lockheed Martin. Once at the AES building, students entered and staged a sit-in.

As the police presence outside the building grew, eventually all 14 protesters were arrested by campus police. The students were released just 30 minutes later with citations for trespassing.

Later in the day, MSU Denver disclosed all of their financial investments, in a victory for the students’ campaign.

“I think what we witness here is the student power of forcing the MSU and University of Colorado, Denver, to be able to be fair and listen to the students' demands,” said Dr. Reema Wahdan, a Palestinian leader who has been organizing for Palestinian solidarity in Colorado for over 40 years.

Wahdan continued, “Being arrested and standing up for human rights and demanding that no part of MSU or CU participate or be complicit in any business that's involved in the genocide is a beautiful thing.”

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