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69 people arrested for setting up pro-Palestinian encampment on ASU's Tempe campus

On Saturday, ASU police arrested 69 people after they set up an unauthorized encampment in support of Palestinians at the Tempe Campus. In a  statement, police say encampments are prohibited on ASU property. After the group was told to disperse multiple times, individuals were arrested and charged with criminal trespass.

Pro-Palestinian students, community members form encampment on ASU's Tempe campus

As pro-Palestinian protests take place on university campuses nationwide, dozens of students and community members made an encampment on the lawn outside the Old Main building on ASU’s Tempe Campus.

College students across the country have set up encampments this week to step up protests in support of Palestinians.

Lexsari Coronado is an ASU student who is involved with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, which is credited with organizing the demonstration.

“This is solely in solidarity with those in Palestine,” said Coronado. “What is happening at Columbia and USC, that is just a student movement rising up and we are rising up with them. The movement is always student-led. The students are uprising, and this is changing the movement for Palestine. And yeah, we’re — we’re basically gonna stay here until our demands are met.”

Throughout the afternoon, people continued towing water bottles, signs and banners toward the lawn in front of Old Main. Dozens linked arms to form a protective chain around the encampment.

“Even if they weren’t here today, it’s kind of hard to ignore what is going on,” said a student taking graduation portraits behind the demonstration. To avoid retaliation on campus, she asked us not to use her name.

She added that while it’s valid to celebrate the accomplishment of graduation and share that joy, it’s still important to acknowledge what led people to protest.

At least three people were arrested Friday, which ASU acknowledged. In a statement, university officials said the encampment is unauthorized and violates the university's policy and ABOR’s Student Code of Conduct.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been modified to correct the spelling of Lexsari Coronado’s name.

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.