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How Pro-Palestinian student protesters are responding to the University of Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)-Protesters continue pushing for divestment from the state of Israel, and now the university is calling on the students to disband the encampment that formed over two weeks ago. 

The school says the protesters are in violation of the student code of conduct, but students I spoke with say they have no plans to leave their encampment.

Chalk messages are still visible along Hagar drive, left over from Tuesday, when protesters blocked the road.

In a message to students sent out Thursday, university administration called the disruption "unprotected speech."

“It felt like it was written to intentionally misconstrue what we were doing and what our purpose is throughout the entire email, not once is our cause mentioned," a protester at the encampment said.

UC Santa Cruz mentioned that it disrupted several classes and forced the campus store to close, but protesters disagree.

“As you can see now, we have taken over the entire quarry but originally we had these barriers as a path half through it," a protester at the encampment said. "People were completely capable of accessing all of the stores on this side and still capable of accessing the disability and ethnic resource centers.”

Protesters said, they received an email from the Chancellor encouraging them to disband the camp.  

“A lot of that statement felt like it was intentionally trying to misrepresent why we are here and what we are doing," a protester at the encampment said.

Earlier this week, UC Berkeley reached an agreement that led to the closure of their encampment, which UCSC students thought would happen here, but has failed to happen.

“They gave us a final deal last Friday and it just did not meet any of our demands, it was worse than what was offered at Berkeley," a protester at the encampment said.

As of now, protesters are pushing for their initial demands after the first negotiation offer fell flat.

“Whether that means to sit at the negotiating table again or the admin giving us new offers, we're here to do whatever we need to do until our demands are met," a protester at the encampment said.

"A number of employees and others who work on campus have had their work schedules disrupted. last week, we also experienced three dining hall disruptions. disrupting dining halls prevents students who rely on meal plans from accessing food," Assistant and Vice Chancellor Larive and Kletzer said.

UCSC's Assistant and Vice Chancellor Larive and Kletzer wrote in a statement, “we continue to call for the unlawful encampment to voluntarily disband.”

They haven’t been given a timeframe for when they have to leave, as of now there is no deadline.

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Briana Mathaw


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