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In Photos: Seven-day Main Green encampment for divestment comes to an end

See the 152-hour encampment, as photographed by The Herald

The students voluntarily cleared the Main Green after reaching an agreement with the University's administration to bring a vote on divestment to the Corporation’s meeting in October.
The students voluntarily cleared the Main Green after reaching an agreement with the University's administration to bring a vote on divestment to the Corporation’s meeting in October.

On Tuesday afternoon, students began to pack away their tents and supplies, disassembling a seven-day encampment for divestment that drew over 100 protestors. 

By 5 p.m., the only signs of the encampment remaining on the Main Green were grassy outlines of where the encampment tents were previously placed. 

Hours earlier, following negotiations between student organizers and President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20, Brown’s Corporation committed to vote on divestment from companies affiliated with Israel at its October meeting. 

The seven-day encampment, which mirrored similar protests at campuses across the country, began at around 6:20 am on Wednesday when roughly 80 students pitched tents on the Green. 

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The demonstrators called for Brown to divest from companies affiliated with the Israeli government and for the University’s administration to drop criminal charges against 41 students who were arrested for trespassing during a December sit-in at University Hall.

At the onset of the encampment, student participants received official communication from University leaders including President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20 stating that the encampment violated school policy. The University also clarified that while participating in the encampment was not an arrestable offense, Brown reserved the right to deploy law enforcement if the encampment were to create “a violent, intimidating, hostile or otherwise unsafe environment.” No reports of these threats arose from the encampment. 

On Saturday morning, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards sent an email to some students participating in the encampment, informing them that they were facing five violations of student conduct. The agreement reached between organizers and the University earlier today determined that the students who participated in the encampment will be placed on academic probation.

Here are the encampment’s 152 hours in photos: 

Day 1 - Wednesday April 24

As the sun rose on April 24, demonstrators laid down tarps and pitched tents on the Main Green.

While setting up the encampment, demonstrators affixed hand-painted signs and canvas banners to their tents. For ten minutes every hour — between the 50 minute and hour mark — they gathered at the edge of the Green, chanting and urging Brown community members passing by to join the demonstration. 

Throughout the day, Department of Public Safety officers swiped IDs of encampment participants. At 8 p.m., encampment participants and others who gathered in solidarity congregated on a large dark blue tarp for a seder.

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Day 2 - Thursday April 2

On the second day of the encampment, the Graduate Labor Organization led a rally with nearly 300 in attendance, including demonstrators affiliated with the encampment and student supporters.

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Speakers included student representatives from the Third World Labor Organization, Brown Postdoc Labor Organization and Sherena Razek, the president of GLO.

Later in the evening, during a special meeting, the Brown University Community Council recommended that five student representatives “conducting activism for divestment” be allowed to present their case before the Corporation. Encampment participants celebrated the recommendation. 

Day 3 - Friday April 26

The number of students encamping increased to 112 on day three. During the scheduled “Community Conversation” at noon, DPS prohibited the use of bullhorns due to noise complaints.

Other programming during the day included art builds and ‘Kabbalat Shabbat’ led by Jews for Palestine. 

Day 4 - Saturday April 27 , Day 5 – Sunday April 28

At approximately 3 p.m. on Saturday, 10 community members associated with the Rhode Island Coalition for Israel gathered on the corner between Brown and Waterman Streets and waved American and Israeli flags at vehicles passing by.

About an hour later, an unidentified individual shouted “long live Israel” and “there is no … genocide, there is a war on both Palestinians and Israelis” at the encamping students. The individual was removed from the Main Green by DPS officers. 

Day 6 - Monday April 29 

At 11 a.m., students participating in the encampment received a letter from President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20 explaining that Brown University would agree to hear the divestment proposal in May if the demonstrators cleared the encampment and refrained from any other unauthorized protests. 

Students affiliated with the encampment formed a circle on a blue tarp in the center of the Green to deliberate on their next steps. At noon, 300 people rallied on the Green as requested by encampment organizers. 

At 3 p.m., a group of student representatives from the encampment met with Vice President for Campus Life Eric Estes and Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey in University Hall. Outside, nearly 400 people circled University Hall for an hour. 

The students emerged from University Hall at 4:25 p.m. and shared with the crowd that they would meet with University administration again the next morning. Encamping students would have another 24 hours before their conduct review process began. 

Day 7 - Tuesday April 30

At 9:04 a.m., five student representatives from the encampment entered University Hall to resume negotiations with Paxson. 

At approximately 1:20 p.m., organizers announced that the administration agreed to bring a vote on divestment to the Corporation’s meeting in October. The University did not agree to drop the charges against the 41 arrested students. Students who participated in the encampment are currently on academic probation. 

In the agreement, student organizers agreed to voluntarily clear the Green by 5 p.m. 

The crowd burst out into chants of “I believe that we will win” and “Free Palestine.” They sang and chanted while taking down their tents. 


Dana Richie

​​Dana Richie is a senior staff writer for Arts and Culture and the photo chief. She enjoys using multiple forms of media to capture peoples’ stories and quirks. In her free time, she loves knitting, learning about local history and playing ultimate frisbee.



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