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“Disclose, Divest, We Will Not Stop, We Will Not Rest!”

Updated: May 10

By: Barbara Kay, Jennifer Ward, Thomas Dachik, Natalie Tulloch, Belle Martinelli, Sophia Palozzi, Arlenis Marmolejos and Brandon Cruz


Seven “The Purchase Phoenix” reporters were present at the time of these events.


"Free Palestine" banner hangs from a tent set up in the Quad. (Photo by: Natalie Tulloch)


On May 3, at 8 p.m., protesters reassembled at the clock tower after the previous night’s police raid. 


Community agreements poster propped up in the encampment (Photo by: Brandon Cruz)


Protesters gathered around the clock chanting. “[We are here] in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza who are having bombs dropped on their heads,” shouted one protester, leading a “repeat after me” style chant from atop an elevated fixture.


Student protester leading chants at the clock tower (Photo by: Belle Martinelli)


“This university and the entire SUNY system is complicit in the genocide taking place against the brave people of Gaza,” they continued. 


Students from Mt. Olympus were giving out screen-printed t-shirts to protesters, also available at the Stood, reading “Free Palestine” and “SUNY Purchase Divest.”


Student protester wearing a Mt. Olympus t-shirt (Photo by: Brandon Cruz)


After approximately 20 minutes of chanting, the leading protester announced that they would be traveling to the Quad where the previous night's raid took place. 


At least 100 student protesters walked in organized lines chanting “Free free free Palestine,” and “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest.” 


Student protesters marching from the clock tower to the Quad, chanting, carrying signs and supplies (Photo by: Belle Martinelli)


After arriving in the Quad, protesters linked arms and stood in a circle, and continued to chant. While in the circle, protesters ran in and out of Outback, grabbing tents, tarps and supplies. They also ran in and out of the circle, to set up their camp within the safety of the students’ linked arms.


There was such a large number of protesters that they began to layer their circle– two circles standing front to back behind the first line of defense. 


Protesters setting up encampment in the middle of student protesters’ circle (Photo by: Belle Martinelli)


One student protester, Elizabeth Pope, watched on Instagram stories and live videos as her classmates and professors were dragged, tackled, and arrested by police on May 2. Last night, she said she decided she didn’t want to sit on the sidelines and joined the protest herself. 


Students stand with protest signs at the encampment. (Photo by: Natalie Tulloch)


“I felt scared for my classmates,” she said, “I felt ashamed of the school I go to and felt like I should’ve been there.”


An emergency meeting was also held Friday afternoon, where the leaders of student clubs and services– including The Purchase Phoenix– compiled a letter which they all signed condemning the SUNY Purchase administration and the police for the brutality of students the night before. 

Student protesters chanting at the clock tower before moving towards encampment (Photo by: Brandon Cruz)


Patty Bice, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, arrived at the encampment at 11:30 p.m.– before quiet hours which begins at 12 a.m. on weekends. She attempted to negotiate with the protesters and offered a meeting with the administration on Monday in exchange for their dispersement at midnight. The protesters stood their ground and demanded a meeting to take place earlier than Monday. 


University Police Department stands discussing the encampment. (Photo by: Natalie Tulloch)



“I’m not calling the police,” she said. 


“If you don’t eventually leave, the college will have to call the police,” she said minutes after. 

“Students that do not disperse will be facing interim suspension,” she threatened. 


A student protester, unmoving, despite threats of suspension (Photo by: Brandon Cruz)


Alongside Bice was Keith Landa, who is a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees. 


“It will be a give and take [protesters] will not get everything,” he said. “You need to be very clear about where you are targeting your asks.”


“I really encourage you to think about [using] a different word than divest,” he continued. “It has a very specific legal and financial meaning that does not reflect what you’re asking for.” 


"F.U.P.D" written in marker on a dorm room window. (Photo by: Natalie Tulloch)


Bice and Landa left the encampment at 1:40 a.m.


Student protesters’ signs gathered in the Quad during the encampment (Photo by: Brandon Cruz)


The protesters felt that their demands were not met, and refused to leave the Quad and disperse their encampment, staying throughout the night into Saturday morning, and unmoving throughout the day Saturday.


Bice and University Police Department Chief Dayton Tucker did not respond to comment in a timely manner. 


“We will not be moving until we have our demands met,” said protester Sabrina Thompson. 


© The Purchase Phoenix


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