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Pro-Palestinian protestors wave flags at the President's House on May 10.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Read our live updates from the rally here.

A group of nearly 150 pro-Palestinian protesters marched through University City Friday evening, just hours after Penn Police and Philadelphia Police officers cleared the Gaza Solidarity Encampment from College Green and arrested 33 individuals.

Students and professors, some of whom were involved with the encampment and faced discipline or arrest, criticized the University and Interim President Larry Jameson during remarks throughout the march. Protesters were repeatedly met with Penn and Philadelphia Police — including during a rally outside Jameson's residence at 38th and Walnut streets, when at least four demonstrators briefly entered the gates of the residence. At least one individual knocked on the door of the house. 

The group of protesters initially gathered outside the gates of The Woodlands’ cemetery on Woodland Avenue at around 8 p.m. before marching on streets around Penn’s campus. Along the way, the group stopped in front of Interim Penn President Larry Jameson’s house for a rally before proceeding down Chestnut Street and ending at the intersection of 33rd and Market streets. 

Penn’s Division of Public Safety issued four UPennAlerts to the University community between 9:11 p.m. and 11:06 p.m., warning of a “large demonstration” and then a “large disruptive crowd.” DPS repeatedly updated the march’s progress on its website

Credit: Chenyao Liu

“On Friday evening at approximately 8pm a large demonstration began west of campus,” DPS wrote in a statement on its website. “The group traveled to the 3800 block of Walnut Street in front of the President’s residence. The crowd became disorderly and breached the exterior gate at the President’s House.”

Around eight protesters climbed the gates of Jameson's house, grabbing hold of the fence and gate surrounding the residence, which they shook until the lock opened, according to DPS. The opening of the gate prompted several demonstrators to enter the yard and deploy smoke bombs, with one protester waving a Palestinian flag.

While Penn Police officers attempted to close the main gate, a protester who had already entered the yard area started to pull the gate back open while waving their arms in attempt for others to enter the property, according to DPS, which added that the gate was eventually secured.

Police officers “regained control” of the area, noting that the “disorderly crowd disbanded” as it reported in an alert at 11:06 p.m., DPS said. 

The march to Jameson's house and around University City first began after nearly 40 minutes of chants outside The Woodlands — including “UPenn, UPenn, you can’t hide, you get rich off genocide” and “We want justice, you say how, end the siege on Rafah now."

“The same ones who arrested us this morning are ones sitting in their cars,” protesters said of the police vehicles in front of the march.

At around 9:15 p.m., protesters stopped outside Eisenlohr Hall, the University house where Jameson lives. The Daily Pennsylvanian could not immediately verify if Jameson was home.

Protesters shouted several chants in front of his house, including “Larry, Larry you’re a liar, the students set the world on fire.” Several protesters released red, green, and black smoke as they chanted. 

One student, who was placed on a mandatory temporary leave of absence and evicted from her dorm as a result of her involvement with the encampment, described losing PennCard and Penn Dining access and being banned from campus. 

“We stand here today in front of the man who let it all happen,” the student added. “President Jameson and Provost [John] Jackson [Jr.] would rather arrest their students, brutalize them, kick them out of their homes, and displace them then answer our calls to stop genocide.”

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

The student — who is international — also described being given two hours to pack her belongings and move out of her dorm.

“Student Intervention Services gave [me] nowhere to go,” she said.

She ended her speech by adding that she will not stop protesting until Penn “discloses, divests, and defends.”

Penn Medicine professor of clinical radiology Tamim Khaddash, who identified himself as Palestinian, praised student organizers for showing “what is possible” and that “cowardice and complicity are not the only options available to us.”

“To see our students sacrificing their comfort, risking their safety, their grades, their degrees for a greater cause has awakened us all,” he said. 

Khaddash cited a letter Jameson sent to the Penn Med community after the 2022 Russian attack on Ukraine — which condemned “all forms of violence and threats to the lives and culture of any group” — as evidence he should be “with the students” advocating for Palestine.

“You are complicit in apartheid, you are complicit in genocide, f**k you Larry,” Khaddash said.

A Temple University student affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine also addressed the protesters, criticizing the University for its role in the war in Gaza.

“You know what creates an unsafe space? A f**king genocide, Larry,” he said. “We’re not leaving.” 

He also compared the student protester experience to that of a student in Gaza, pointing out that every university in Gaza has been destroyed over the course of Israel’s war.

Credit: Chenyao Liu

Another organizer led the crowd in a “primal scream” for about 30 seconds in front of Jameson’s house — mirroring a practice started by pro-Palestinian organizers at Columbia University. Several protesters shook the fence in front of the house as they screamed.

After the scream, at least four protesters briefly entered the gates of the property holding at least one Palestinian flag and were met by police who forced them out. Police cars with sirens started to pull up to the rally, prompting organizers to order the crowd away from the gates and sidewalks and back onto the street.

The crowd then moved forward towards police cars, repeating multiple chants critical of the Philadelphia Police Department for its alleged ties to Israel.

Between 15 and 20 police vehicles — including at least three vans — followed the march as it proceeded west on Walnut Street, turned on 39th Street, and moved east on Chestnut Street. 

Protesters alleged at least two instances of aggressive police behavior as Penn Police and the Philadelphia Police Department responded to the ongoing march.

One protester was allegedly injured during the time that the rally stopped in front of the house. The march paused for several minutes as a medic tended to the protester. A biker leading the march also alleged that a Philadelphia Police Department car nearly hit them “going 30 [miles per hour].”

Several protesters used their bodies to block a police car at the intersection of 33rd and Chestnut streets. In response, the car — and an additional police car parked behind it — turned on loud sirens. The car drove forward, attempting to prompt the protesters to move and making brief physical contact with them.

After a few seconds, the protesters moved out of the car’s path and continued walking.

Throughout the march, students and other pedestrians — many of them filming — stopped on both sides of the sidewalk to watch the protesters pass by. 

At 33rd and Market streets, where the march concluded, an organizer told protesters not to engage with any “outside agitators or genocide deniers or [Zionists].”

A student organizer who was arrested Friday morning addressed the crowd, thanking the group for providing support and supplies for the protesters throughout the encampment and denouncing the administration’s response.

“What the administration is trying to do is create a divide, a wedge between the students, the faculty, the staff, members of the University of Pennsylvania, and the good people of Philadelphia,” he said. “They want students to ignore the city, but the city cannot ignore while they’ve continued to gentrify West Philadelphia for decades.”

He went on to contend that the pro-Palestinian movement would be vindicated “just like the movement against war in Vietnam was and the movement against apartheid in South Africa was.”

At about 10:40 p.m., the march concluded and both protesters and police vehicles started to disperse.

“When they destroy, we build,” the student organizer said. “The encampment was the floor, not the ceiling.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include additional information from the University about the protesters who entered the gates of Jameson's residence.