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Schenley Plaza encampment near University of Pittsburgh's campus is clear

Pro-Palestinian protest near Pitt's campus come to a successful resolution, according to police
Pro-Palestinian protest near Pitt's campus come to a successful resolution, according to police 02:00

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As pro-Palestinian protests intensify on campuses across the country, the protest near the University of Pittsburgh is over.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Larry Scirotto said open dialogue with the protesters helped them reach a peaceful resolution.

Things look a lot different at Schenley Plaza on Tuesday. The lawn is empty, and the protestors are gone. They'd been living across from the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning for the past week, speaking out over the war in Gaza and calling on the university to divest from Israel. 

"We can highlight the successes of what these demonstrations should look like for the country, especially in such volatile times," Scirotto said.

The chief said communication was key to keeping the peace.

"It's really important that there were honest brokers at the table, from our side, from the organizers' side, to ensure that they are and were able to peacefully demonstrate on city property in a time and manner that we could support that wasn't overly intrusive to city operations," he said.

The protestors agreed to certain conditions, including no antisemitic speech or behavior, no violence or property destruction, and no blocking roads, or interrupting Pitt's commencement ceremonies.  

The demonstrators also agreed to leave and clean up the lawn by Monday in exchange for a chance to have a meaningful talk with university leaders about divesting from Israel. Chief Scirotto said they were able to connect them with senior administration so they could have further dialogue.

"We are supportive of any peaceful demonstrations, peaceful assembly. And all we ask for is communication with us, cooperation where we can find joint agreement," Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt said. 

Two people were arrested by university police on Sunday while protestors tried to occupy the area around the Cathedral of Learning.

When this all started a week ago and conversations began, Chief Scirotto felt like they had an opportunity to set the example.

"How do not end up like one of these other universities? It's over-communicating and ensuring everybody that has a vested interest in the demonstration is heard and has a voice at the table and we did just that," he said.

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