Student group at Miami University protests the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza

Dozens of students set up camp at Miami University after a march Thursday night to show solidarity for an end to Israel's war in Gaza.

The march was organized by the Miami University Students for Justice in Palestine and began at the Freedom Summer Memorial on campus. A statement released the same evening said: The group said the purpose of the march was to “demand our university to disclose and withdraw its funding for extremist Israeli genocide against Palestinians.”

These student-organized marches and encampments to protest the war were reported at a number of universities across the country as well as in Canada. In some cases there were reports of police and university officials arresting students, breaking up camps, and threatening academic consequences.

The protest at Miami University remained relatively peaceful as students marched across Western Campus for nearly two hours. They ended the march at the University Seal, located right in the heart of campus outside of Roudebush Hall, where the encampment was set up.

“Tonight we will set up camp at the Seal to exercise our right to peaceful protest and call on the university to treat divestment with the urgency necessary in responding to this genocide,” it said Group statement.

Some police vehicles were at the site of the encampment, but as of Thursday evening there were no reports of incidents between officers and demonstrators.

Darek Sanabria Valderrana, vice president of Students for Justice in Palestine, said their goal is to stay in the camps “as long as possible.”

“Our most important message is to the Miami University administration. And it says that we must move forward with the divestment process as urgently as possible,” said Sanabria Valderrana.

According to Thursday's statement, students in the group met with Miami University President Gregory Crawford to lay out their demands for full disclosure and divestment from companies involved in perpetuating the war. However, their efforts were largely unsuccessful, with the university saying it was “unable to obtain a detailed list of companies from the investment group with which they themselves contracted.”

The Enquirer called and sent text messages to university officials but has not yet received a response.

Enquirer intern Jack Schmelzinger contributed to this report.

Anna Harden

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