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Protesters set up encampment at UC Berkeley to demand end to Gaza war, divestment from Israel

Ongoing pro-Palestinian protests at UC Berkeley mirror protests at universities across nation
Ongoing pro-Palestinian protests at UC Berkeley mirror protests at universities across nation 01:37

Protesters at the University of California, Berkeley camped out overnight in Sproul Plaza following a demonstration to demand an end to the war in Gaza and the university's divestment from companies with ties to Israel.

Students occupied the steps in front of Sproul Hall and pitched tents in front of the building, calling the action a "solidarity encampment." The encampment began as a rally in solidarity with the ongoing pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University where more than 100 people were arrested last week.

A UC Berkeley spokesperson said there were no plans to change the university's investment policies and practices.

With three weeks left in the semester, Berkeley is prioritizing students' academic interests," said university vice-chancellor and spokesperson Dan Mogulof. "We will take the steps necessary to ensure the protest does not disrupt the university's operations."

At UC Berkeley, students have been protesting against the war in Gaza at Sather Gate since February. Monday's action in Sproul Plaza is one of dozens of other pro-Palestinian protests at college campuses across the country

At Columbia University in New York, supporters of Israel marched in solidarity with Jewish students who said they felt unsafe after the week-long campus protests. On Monday, the university switched to mandatory remote learning and promised to significantly increase on-campus security.

Also on Monday, dozens of protesters were arrested at New York University and Yale, and the gates to Harvard Yard were closed to the public as some of the most prestigious U.S. universities sought to defuse campus tensions over Israel's war with Hamas.

Other universities that saw on-campus protests Monday included California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt in Northern California, the University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado. 

Cal Poly Humboldt announced that its campus will be closed the school's campus through at least Wednesday after demonstrators occupied a building Monday night. Classes were to be conducted remotely, the school said on its website.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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