Around 250 pro-Palestine protesters from the DMV Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Coalition, Student Coalition for Palestine at George Washington University, and other groups gathered at the intersection of H and 21st Street for a 5 p.m. rally Thursday afternoon. Protesters have since marched to 1918 F Street, which houses the offices of GW’s president, provost, vice president, and chief financial officer.

After chanting for five minutes, protesters have pitched nine tents outside of 1918 F Street.

The demonstration comes nearly 36 hours after Metro Police Department (MPD) officers arrested 33 protesters, including 7 Georgetown students, while clearing the Gaza solidarity encampment in University Yard (U-Yard). MPD officers used significant force against protesters, including pepper spray, while clearing the encampment.

More than 100 protesters have formed four lines of human chains, where protesters lock arms, between the tents and the police line on F Street. The police line of around 50 officers is directly in front of GW President Granberg’s residence between the 1900 and 2000 blocks of F Street.

Photo by Margaret Hartigan

This is a developing story. Follow our live updates:

Friday 12:15 a.m. update:

Nearly seven hours into the rally, nearly 150 MPD officers gathered at the demonstrations, where approximately 200 protesters remained with several tents at 11:20 p.m . Police gave four orders for dispersal, declaring the protests unlawful entry on GW property and the surrounding street and sidewalk areas. After a roughly 30 minute standoff, the crowd dispersed without arrests or further incident after an organizer ordered protesters to withdraw.

Police gave one more dispersal order as protesters were leaving the scene.

When the first warning of arrest was issued at 11:27 p.m., an officer announced the protest as an unlawful demonstration. Protesters continued to beat drums, chant, and make speeches, although several dozen left the area. In response, protesters started moving all of the tents in the street to the 1800 block of F Street NW.

Officers then drew batons. After three additional dispersal orders, however, organizers eventually told the crowd to “go home,” at 11:47 p.m. At around 11:52 p.m., protesters had largely dispersed while MPD officers began collapsing the police line that had formed.

Thursday 9:20 p.m. update:

At 5:07 p.m., protesters began to gather on the 2000 block of H St. across from U-Yard, where, during the last two weeks, hundreds have shown up to protest Israel’s military operations in Gaza. U-Yard, which had been filled with nearly 60 tents the day before, has now been fenced off with black fencing, with four police officers standing guard. The statue of George Washington, which demonstrators had adorned with a keffiyeh and Palestinian flag, has been covered up with a tarp. 

Miriam Siegel (CAS ‘26), who was arrested at the encampment, attended the rally and emphasized that organizers continue to protest until their demands are met. 

“I’m here because I have to be here,” Siegel said in an interview with the Voice. “We have yet to see a ceasefire, we have yet to see divestment, we have yet to see amnesty for pro-Palestinian [protesters] on campus.”

“We need to show up for the people in Gaza,” she added.

At 5:38 p.m., the crowd marched to the corner of H and 21st, led by an organizer leading chants with a bullhorn. Police had blocked all four lanes of the intersection and police liaisons with yellow vests stood between the protesters and the police.

Police blocked off nearby intersections with cars and stood around the crowd, with protesters designated as police liaisons in yellow vests in between them. 

At around 6 p.m., organizers and protesters began with speeches. Students arrested at the encampment reemphasized their demands, criticized MPD’s encampment clearing, and called for the focus to remain on Gaza and the Israeli ongoing siege of Rafah’s border crossing.

“It was an honor to be arrested for Palestine,” one speaker told the crowd. 

“In the moments where I was shoved in the chest, pushed to the ground, and pepper sprayed in the face, I couldn’t think of anything except for the children of Palestine who experienced the same brutality tenfold,” another speaker said.

The rally and previous encampment, organized by DMV Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Coalition, protest Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the Gaza strip, where the International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel “plausibly violated” the U.N. genocide convention. The protesters’ demands for the eight participating universities include dropping charges against student organizers, divestment from companies with ties to the Israeli military, protection of pro-Palestine activism and speech, and ending academic partnerships with Israel, among others.

At 7:13 p.m., brief negotiations appeared to take place between several police officers and protest liaisons.

Angelena Bougiamas
Angelena is a sophomore studying Political Economy from Queens, New York. She is a fan of print newsmagazines (duh), lemon tea (with honey) and humoring her father by finally updating this bio (hi dad!).

Margaret Hartigan
Margaret is a senior in the college majoring in government with minors in Spanish and journalism. Her favorite study spot on campus is the Voice office or, in desperate times, the fifth floor of Lau with a large red eye. She is currently the Service Chair

Eddy Binford-Ross
Eddy Binford-Ross is a sophomore in the SFS and the news editor. She loves talking about the importance of student journalism, swimming in mountain lakes, reading good novels, and, of course, writing for the Voice.

Franziska Wild
Franzi Wild is a junior in the SFS and the news executive editor. She likes the natural world, Arabic verb forms, and kindness. She dislikes institutions and administrations.

Cole Kindiger
Cole has been the copy chief since the spring of 2024. He enjoys hiking, listening to the Mountain Goats, and reading impressive books in public places.

Connor Martin
Connor (he/him) is a junior in the college and the managing editor. He is also a member of the editorial board, a collector of snowglobes, and he can't wait to make you pasta after studying for three months in Florence, Italy. Ping Connor at

More: , , , , ,

Read More

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments