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Students and community organizers protested the building of a 76ers arena near Chinatown on Nov. 18, 2022. Credit: Derek Wong

This past year saw the Penn and Philadelphia communities protesting for issues facing the the city and its residents, Penn students on campus, and those abroad.

Members of the Penn community rallied in 2022 to protest the eviction of the University City Townhomes residents, the war in Ukraine, and the University's investigation into a Penn graduate's status as a first-generation, low-income student and survivor of abuse.

Feb. 3 — The Coalition to Save the UC Townhomes hosted their first teach-in at Du Bois College House. During the event, speakers expressed concern for the hundreds of local residents at risk of eviction from the University City Townhomes, federally subsidized housing units on 39th and Market streets.

Feb. 23 — Nearly 100 students and West Philadelphia residents gathered outside College Hall to demand that Penn prevent the eviction of residents from the UC townhomes. 

Feb. 25 — As Russian troops moved into the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, hundreds stationed themselves in front of Philadelphia City Hall to protest the invasion and the United States’ inadequate support of Ukraine. 

Feb. 28 — As Penn students from Ukraine worried about the safety of their families and the future of their home, Penn community members gathered on campus carrying protest signs and Ukrainian flags in support.

March 19 — Over 300 Penn students, community members, and West Philadelphia residents attended a block party and protest at the University City Townhomes to protest the sale of the townhomes and eviction of their residents

April 14 — Approximately 150 members of the Penn community gathered at a campus-wide walkout and rally outside of the School of Social Policy & Practice building today to stand in solidarity with Mackenzie Fierceton, other first-generation, low-income students, and survivors of abuse. Fierceton had sued the University after it launched a "sham investigation" into her history of abuse and status as a FGLI student.

July 10 — Residents, organizers, and activists set up an encampment at the UC townhomes to protest the sale of the townhomes.

July 21 — The Philadelphia 76ers announced plans to build a new stadium in Center City. Spanning from 10th Street to 11th Street, the location is a block away from the Chinatown Friendship Gate, the entrance to the Chinatown neighborhood. The announcement prompted gentrification concerns among local activists and members of the adjacent Chinatown community.

July 22 — A Philadelphia judge ordered residents and supporters to vacate the encampment set up to protest the sale of the University City Townhomes.

Aug. 4 — The Penn Middle East Center lost its federal Title VI funding due to insufficient institutional support from the University, threatening the future of Middle Eastern studies on campus. 

Aug. 8 — Philadelphia law enforcement confronted protesters who were defending an encampment set up to protest the sale of the University City Townhomes which resulted in the protestors vacating the encampment.

Aug. 29 — Over 100 protestors interrupted Penn President Liz Magill minutes into her first-ever Convocation speech, bringing the ceremony to an abrupt end. 

Sept. 14 — Student representatives demanded that Penn support the Middle East Center at the first University Council meeting of the year. Nearly a dozen students demonstrated their disappointment with the Center's recent loss of all federal funding. 

Sept. 16 — Two students are facing disciplinary action from Penn administrators for allegedly disrupting Convocation in August to protest the eviction of UC townhomes residents.

Sept. 25 — Seventy-three faculty members signed a letter in opposition to the University's disciplinary action in response to students' alleged involvement in disrupting Convocation while protesting the eviction of UC townhomes residents.

Oct. 19 — Penn committed to fully funding the Middle East Center after it lost its federal Title VI funding, which had temporarily jeopardized the center and its future.

Nov. 18 — Nearly 100 Penn students and Philadelphia residents marched from College Hall to the Campus Apartments headquarters to demand the halt of the development of the proposed 76ers arena in Chinatown. 

Check out the rest of the DP's Year in Review content here.