A few dozen students at UC Irvine stayed overnight at a tent encampment that formed Monday, April 29, on campus, hoping to get the university to cut financial ties with Israel and raise awareness over the death of Palestinian people in the Israel-Hamas war.

The protest is part of a nationwide movement across college campuses where pro-Palenstian demonstrators are erecting tent encampments. The UCI students say their encampment will last until the university meets their demands.

Tuesday morning, the scene at the encampment was calm, but demonstrators launched into chants when a person received a written warning from UCI campus police and was asked to leave campus.

A campus police officer told the demonstrator that if they returned to any UCI property within seven days they could be arrested and it could be considered as a misdemeanor. It was unclear what caused the warning, and the Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for information.

“Your conduct here is disrupting the normal operations and business of the campus,” an officer told the demonstrator when asked why they received the warning. “It’s the combination of the fact that you are non-affiliate and you guys are conducting illegal activity here on campus.”

After the interaction, demonstrators started shouting “Shame, shame, shame on you” at the few police officers who had gathered, and later “Free Palestine.”

Security staff were stationed all around the encampment watching along with campus police officers.

The encampment perimeter had expanded since Monday evening, and as of Tuesday morning was roughly 40-by-40-yards large. Supporters were carrying in wooden pallets to add to the encampment.

Students are able to walk around the encampment and access the nearby buildings.

In a message sent to the UCI community late Tuesday, UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman called the encampment “unauthorized” and said university officials had “seen protests in this area that are in violation of our policies that are designed to help ensure free expression on our campus.”

“We have reached out to the students in the existing illegal encampment and have made it clear to them that if they believe they need an ‘encampment’ space on campus to peacefully express their views, then we will work with them to find a space that is appropriate and non-disruptive,” Gillman said. “We hope that our students and other affiliates do not insist on staying in a space that violates the law, violates our policies, and disrupts our mission.”

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