Watch CBS News

Demonstrators remove encampment at University of Denver campus

Demonstrators remove encampment at University of Denver campus
Demonstrators remove encampment at University of Denver campus 00:29

After nearly three weeks, demonstrators at the University of Denver campus have dismantled the encampment and moved on. The pro-Palestinian demonstrators had been camping on the Carnegie Green outside of DU's administrative building since May 9. As of Wednesday afternoon, the camp was gone. 

The lawn of the campus at the University of Denver shows damage from the weeks of demonstrations as seen from the CBS News Colorado helicopter.  CBS

The group, DU 4 Palestine, like many others involved in campus demonstrations around the country, was calling for the university to divest from all companies that had financial ties or were connected to Israel amid the ongoing war in Gaza. After a meeting with DU administration, the group said they decided to close the camp when they realized the DU chancellor was not going to "engage seriously with student concerns and demands."


The demonstrations were mostly peaceful except for a few incidents. 

Last week, DU confirmed that two student suspects and a third suspect were accused of vandalism of an academic building the night before. A potential fourth suspect also reportedly ran away before they could be caught and was unknown. 

Vandalism at the University of Denver campus University of Denver

On May 19, DU confirmed a previous vandalism was reported on campus, and images shared by the university showed red paint splashed across entry doors to a campus building.   

The following letter was sent to the DU community on Wednesday:

May 29, 2024

Dear DU Community, 
This morning, student protesters peacefully removed their encampment on DU's campus. 

Yesterday, May 28, DU leadership met with representatives from the protesting group about our ongoing concerns about their and the wider community's safety, as well as our call for the encampment's immediate removal. We shared that the University would not meet their demands for practical and policy-guided reasons. The protesters, in turn, shared the deep dedication and passion for the cause that brought them together in the first place. We are grateful the protestors decided to ultimately comply with the University's call for a safe and peaceful conclusion to the encampment.     

Nothing matters more than the safety of our students and the broader campus community, and I want to thank the faculty and staff who joined in helping our University reach this peaceful conclusion. 

The past three weeks have been challenging for DU. Concerns about safety, discrimination and harassment, incidents of vandalism on campus, the spread of misinformation and general discontent have created painful rifts in our community. And while the encampment sparked diverse expressions of opinion, we also witnessed discourse from all sides that was neither civil nor respectful.  

As we move forward, I encourage all students, faculty and staff to engage in meaningful and respectful discussions. Together, we can impact positive change while maintaining a constructive and safe environment. Let us recommit to fostering an atmosphere of thoughtful dialogue and intellectual humility – one that upholds our values and commits to the safety and belonging of our entire campus community.  

We are a passionate, inclusive, intellectual community driven by academic and research excellence, character growth and well-being. Let's strive to treat each other with dignity and respect, learn and grow from this experience, assume the positive intent of our community members and work together for the greater good. That's what it means to be part of the DU community.  


Jeremy Haefner


The group DU 4 Palestine published this statement on social media: 

Revolutionary Community. Our fight is not over. The Board of Trustees, Chancellor Jeremy Haefner, and the rest of administration are cowards who continue to support genocide. Genocidal cowards never win. We know that a better world is possible. It is up to the people to start the revolution, and it will be the people who win. Stay tuned for next steps in DU4Palestine's fight against DU's genocidal support. The fight is NOT over.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.