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Several pro-Palestinian students who were put on mandatory leave by the University due to their involvement in the Gaza Solidarity Encampment are being banned from entering the College of Arts and Sciences Graduation Ceremony currently taking place on Franklin Field. Several parents are saying that communication from Julie Nettleton, the director of the Center for Community Standards and Accountability, was vague and unclear.

In an Instagram post, Penn Students Against the Occupation of Palestine called for “numbers for pressure” to join them outside Franklin Field as students wearing keffiyehs are being “profiled, prevented from walking, and are surrounded by cops + security.”

On Saturday night, an encampment began at Drexel University, less than a day after pro-Palestinian activists attempted to occupy Fisher-Bennett Hall on Penn’s campus and one week after the University cleared the Gaza Solidarity Encampment from College Green.

As of 8 p.m. Saturday night, protesters were setting up 12 tents on the Korman Family Quad on Drexel’s campus. The encampment began after a “NAKBA 76” rally and march traveled from City Hall to University City.

In an Instagram story reposted by Penn Students Against the Occupation of Palestine and the Philly Palestine Coalition, the Drexel Palestine Coalition announced, “SOLIDARITY ENCAMPMENT ESTABLISHED AT KORMAN QUAD!! COME TO CAMP!”

The message went on to explain that “Philadelphia area community members” established a Gaza Solidarity Encampment at Drexel as a “direct response to the Palestinian call for escalations in order to bring the ongoing fast-paced genocide in Gaza to a halt.”

Drexel’s encampment begins after pro-Palestinian activists attempted to occupy Fisher-Bennett on Friday evening. Protesters were met with an immediate response from Penn and Philadelphia police officers, who arrested 19 individuals — seven of whom are Penn students.

The occupation was announced in an Instagram post around 8 p.m. by Penn Against the Occupation, calling for members of the Penn and Philadelphia communities to bring “flags, pots, pans, noise makers,” and megaphones. In the statement, protesters renamed the building to “Refaat Alareer Hall” after a Palestinian poet who was killed in Gaza in December.

A statement on PAO’s Instagram said the occupation was the result of a “series of escalations by the Penn administration,” including a refusal to negotiate in “good faith,” citing arrests by Penn Police and disciplinary action taken by the University.

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