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Now-governor Josh Shapiro speaks at a campaign rally in Philadelphia on Oct. 21, 2022. Credit: Jesse Zhang

Follow our live updates on the Gaza Solidarity Encampment here and all of our coverage here.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said it was “past time” for Penn to disband the Gaza Solidarity Encampment on College Green during a speech in Pittsburgh on Thursday. 

He said that universities have a “moral responsibility and a legal responsibility to keep their students safe and free from discrimination,” but indicated that he believed Penn has not met those obligations.

“Over the last 24 hours at the University of Pennsylvania, the situation has gotten even more unstable and out of control,” Shapiro said, referencing Wednesday night’s expansion of the encampment. “More rules have been violated, more laws have been broken. That is absolutely unacceptable.”

Shapiro said that although Penn’s leaders have made clear that protesters in the encampment are violating University policies and city laws, attempts at negotiations so far have not been effective. He added that all students have a "legal right" to feel safe on Penn's campus.

“The University of Pennsylvania has an obligation to their safety,” he said. “It is past time for the university to act, to address this, to disband the encampment, and to restore order and safety on campus.”

In response to a question about whether he would act on the state level to remove the encampment, Shapiro called on universities to use their own police departments or to work with their local police departments to “make sure students are safe on campus.”

The Daily Pennsylvanian previously reported that Penn has requested help from the Philadelphia Police Department to clear the encampment, but PPD declined, citing a need for proof of imminent danger. During Wednesday’s expansion, around 40 PPD officers were present on Penn’s campus.