Protesters occupy outside UW’s president’s office, demanding all ties to Israel cut

SEATTLE — Thirty-six Pro-Palestinian protesters were removed from the University of Washington’s Gerberding Hall Thursday evening after occupying the building for hours. Those with the United Front for Palestinian Liberation began their occupation early in the day as they demanded UW’s president cut all ties with Israel and Boeing, but end the repression of pro-Palestinian students and faculty.

“But we had hoped that the university would prefer to actually support its students,” Alon Lapid with Super UW said.

During the removal process, protesters claim university police were too forceful with them.

“Just grabbing them. Dragging them with physical force and shoving them outside of the various entrances,” Lapid said.

Across from Gerberding Hall on the Red Square was a Menorah lighting for the first night of Hanukkah.

“Which is that light will always outshine darkness. Love will always out power hate,” Rabbi Mendel Weingarten, Co-Director of Chabad of UW said.

Rabbi Weingarten says ever since the conflict in Israel began, there has been a lot of antisemitism around campus that has had a big impact on students.

“Especially when they wake up in the morning and there are calls of hate and destruction all throughout campus,” Rabbi Weingarten said.

And while tensions remain high during the ongoing conflict, many are hoping peace comes soon.

“Without peace, we don’t have anything. Peace is what we all strive to have in this world,” Rabbi Weingarten said.

As many throughout the Puget Sound believe the conversation about peace is far from over.

“The energy is still very high. If anything, this has motivated us to continue our efforts to get the University of Washington to condemn the oppression of Pro-Palestine, Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Black students,” Lapid said.

Both the protest and Menorah lighting were not connected in any way, but a spokesperson with the University emphasized the importance of safety for everyone.