In Protests

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At least 30 students gathered for a three-hour pro-Palestinian sit-in in front of the Elliott School of International Affairs on Wednesday.

The Student Coalition for Palestine at GWU — a group of student organizations formed after GW suspended Students for Justice in Palestine earlier this month — led the demonstration at the Elliott School, where students demanded the University end its reported “financial and material ties” to Zionism and divest from companies that provide weapons to Israel. After nearly two hours of the sit-in, a “doxxing truck” displaying the names and faces of students reportedly involved in the coalition arrived outside the building as demonstrators sat and chanted on the front steps.

The sit-in was part of a larger International Day of Solidarity where pro-Palestinian organizers encouraged demonstrators to “Shut it down! For Palestine” and send a message to leaders that life cannot continue as normal while more than 15,000 Palestinians, many of whom are women and children, have been killed from Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip.

The demonstration started at about 9 a.m. on the first floor of the Elliott School and later moved to the front steps outside the school outside for an unknown reason. University spokesperson Julia Metjian said GW officials did not ask demonstrators to leave the building.

GW Police Department officers were scattered throughout the first floor of the school, directing students to the temporary entrance where an officer held the door and required people to show their GWorld cards before entry. Multiple officials — including GWPD Chief James Tate, Assistant Dean of Student Life Brian Joyce and Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Colette Coleman — alternated between standing several feet away from the demonstration on the front steps and observing from inside the building.

Students led chants including “GWU, we know you, you are funding genocide too,” “Students students don’t be blind, your tuition funds genocide” and “Divest now.”

Demonstrators also made chants directed toward University officials like Coleman and University President Ellen Granberg, including “Dean Coleman, we know you, you’re endangering students too” and “Granberg Granberg you can’t hide, you’re complicit in genocide.”

Roughly two hours into the sit-in, a billboard truck parked near demonstrators gathered outside the Elliott School, displaying the names and faces of students allegedly affiliated with the student coalition and labeling them as “antisemites.” Students attempted to cover the digital display — which was sponsored by conservative news organization Accuracy in Media — with their signs and a large banner that said “End the siege on Gaza.”

The organization’s president, Adam Guillette, attempted to question students participating in the sit-in and got behind the banner and folded it down to record footage. A GWPD officer removed Guillette from behind the banner and created a line between the students holding the banner and the truck.

At about noon, the truck left because it was parked in an emergency no parking zone, and demonstrators dispersed shortly after.

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