Officers from the Philadelphia and Penn Police departments arrested dozens of protesters at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment at around 6 a.m. on Friday. The encampment was dismantled shortly after.

The arrests come on the 16th day of the encampment, which began on the afternoon of April 25. Up to 40 tents took up one square of College Green until Tuesday, when at least eight tents were moved over as the encampment expanded east of the Ben Franklin statue. 

Organizers are demanding that the University disclose its financial holdings, divest financially from “corporations that profit from Israel’s war on Gaza and occupation in Palestine,” and condemn the “scholasticide” of Palestinian scholars and universities. They are also urging Penn to defend Palestinian students and withdraw its disciplinary actions against pro-Palestinian activists, including the revocation of Penn Students Against the Occupation of Palestine’s student group status.

Here is how The Daily Pennsylvanian’s photographers captured the events of Friday morning.

5:36 a.m.

More than 100 officers from the Philadelphia Police Department arrived on bikes after the encampment remained relatively quiet overnight.

The police then closed off exits on both sides of the encampment, while protesters moved supplies out of the encampment in Penn Residential Services moving carts and linked arms around the Ben Franklin statue.

“We are staying here until our demands are met," they said. "We’re not leaving.”

Credit: Ethan Young

5:53 a.m.

Penn Police officers entered the encampment with a megaphone, issuing a two-minute warning for protesters to leave. 

Shortly after, officers in riot gear began to clear the eastern side of the encampment, using batons to overturn tents. 

6:10 a.m.

Police officers began arresting the circled pro-Palestinian protesters, removing them from the circle around the Ben Franklin statue one at a time and handcuffing them with zip ties. The protesters did not resist arrest, singing “We shall not be moved” and chanting “Free, free Palestine” as they were led into custody. 

Protesters were put into police vans to be taken in for processing. Several shouted that their handcuffs were secured too tightly and that they were losing feeling in their fingers.

One Penn student alleged that her hair was being pulled and that she was kneed in the face by an officer while she was being arrested.

After the arrests concluded, which took about an hour, police finished checking each tent in the encampment to ensure that no one was inside. 

7:02 a.m

A group of professors at the corner of 34th and Walnut streets lined up to block the police vans from leaving Locust Walk. Five Penn faculty members were pushed back by officers as the PPD vans began to enter the street. 

The faculty members sat down on the sidewalk of 34th and Walnut streets after the vans left, linking arms. 

A crowd of spectators formed at the intersection chanting, “PPD, KKK, IOF, they’re all the same,” as police attempted to remove the faculty members.

Credit: Ethan Young

7:20 a.m.

Protesters arrested at the encampment began to arrive at the Philadelphia Police Department 19th District station on 60th Street and Haverford Avenue. Throughout the next two hours, individuals who had exited the station after being processed and other pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at the corner of 61st Street and Girard Avenue in solidarity, chanting “F**k you, Larry.” 

According to a University spokesperson, approximately 33 individuals were arrested and cited for “defiant trespass.” Seven were Penn students. All arrested individuals were released by 9:05 a.m., according to legal observers and Philadelphia Police officers.

Credit: Jackson Ford

7:19 a.m.

A K-9 unit from PPD went through the encampment. A few minutes later, Penn employees began clearing the encampment, throwing tents, signs, flags, and other belongings into a trash truck on Locust Walk. Other Penn workers assembled six-foot-tall fencing along the northwest side of College Green, blocking off Locust Walk. 

Just over an hour later, the encampment was entirely cleared. Three trash trucks were used to shred the supplies from the encampment as spectators watched through the fences. 

8:06 a.m.

The faculty members sitting on the sidewalk were escorted away by police shortly after 8 a.m. 

Three of the professors were brought down 34th Street by police officers before they were released halfway down the block. The officers did not respond to multiple inquiries by the professors and members of the press about whether the professors were under arrest.

Professors of English Chi-ming Yang and Dagmawi Woubshet said they were initially told they were under arrest, but were not placed in zip tie handcuffs and were led away without being formally detained.

Woubshet said after the incident that the day’s events were a “low point at this university.”

Credit: Ethan Young and Ethan Young

8:52 a.m.

The encampment was fully cleared from College Green as the remaining trash trucks made their way out of the area close to 9 a.m. 

Officers from Penn Division of Public Safety and PPD remain in the area.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil