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Pro-Palestinian protests are continuing for a second day on Emory University’s Quadrangle. Yesterday, protesters were met with a large response from the Emory Police Department, which was working with the Atlanta Police Department and Georgia State Patrol. Officers arrested 28 protestors, including 15 students, and used irritant gas on the crowd and a taser on one individual. 

The arrested protestors had their first appearance in the DeKalb County Magistrate Court this morning. Most protestors were charged with trespassing, while others faced disorderly conduct and obstruction of law enforcement charges. Each charged protestor will appear in state court within the next 10 days. 

In an email to all students, faculty and staff this morning, Emory President Gregory Fenves wrote that the University administration is “working with law enforcement agencies to assist detained community members and expedite their release.”

Earlier this afternoon, the College Senate of the Emory College of Arts and Sciences approved a motion to hold a vote of “No Confidence” for Fenves. The official vote will happen next week. 

12:20 a.m.

Associate Professor of Religious Studies James Hoesterey said that he thinks University administration should have let “students have this time to share and heal.”

Hoesterey was part of a line of professors who stood between protestors and EPD officers. 

“We don’t need to be the ones necessarily chanting — they don’t want us to do that,” Hoesterey said. “They don’t necessarily want us to organize it, but they want us there.”

— Spencer Friedland

A group of faculty members line up and face the police officers in solidarity with the protestors. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

Associate Professor of Religious Studies James Hoesterey records the protest. (Spencer Friedland/Managing Editor)

12:16 a.m.

Protestors have gathered in Asbury Circle. A speaker stated that they will continue practicing their right to protest, earning cheers from the crowd.  She thanked everyone for coming to today’s demonstration in “solitarity,” adding that the police officers came to the Quad because they are scared and unsure of how to handle the rise in protests on college campuses.

— Madi Olivier

A speaker gives a speech to the crowd of protestors after they left the Quadrangle and walked to Asbury Circle. (Tiffany Namkung/Social Editor)

12:12 a.m.

The protestors in the front of the group have made it to Cox Bridge. Medical students are waiting next to the sidewalk at a makeshift first aid station.

— Madi Olivier

12:08 a.m.

Protestors are now retreating toward Cox Bridge with their arms interlocked, still chanting, to avoid being “tear gassed” or arrested, the speaker said through a megaphone. The police officers are slowly driving through the Quad, following the protestors.

— Madi Olivier

Protestors link their arms and slowly leave the Quadrangle together after police officers arrived on the scene. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

12:05 a.m.

The police officers are requesting that the protestors vacate the Quad through their cars’ speakers, earning boos from the protestors. The demonstrators have not moved and are continuing to chant while officers stand in front of them.

Protesters in the middle of the circle of protesters are holding a sign of Tortuguita, the Stop Cop City protester killed by the Atlanta Police Department last spring.

— Madi Olivier

Protestors link their arms and form a circle as police officers face them on the Quadrangle. (Tiffany Namkung/Senior Staff Photographer)

12:03 a.m.

Police officers are approaching the protestors, who are continuing to chant.

— Madi Olivier

Police officers arrive on the Quadrangle, parking their cars on the grass in front of the Administration Building. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

12:02 a.m.

At least three police vehicles have pulled up in front of the Administration Building on the Quad. Protestors have linked their arms to form a circle around the flagpole, chanting phrases such as “From the sea to the river, Palestine will live forever,” and “Free free Palestine, occupation is a crime.”

— Madi Olivier

11:53 p.m.

A speaker reiterated that the protestors will leave as a group if police officers arrive. She added that they will host demonstrations tomorrow and Sunday, as well as host protesting trainings.

— Madi Olivier

11:30 p.m.

Emory Police Department (EPD) Major Thomas Manns told The Emory Wheel EPD has been in communication with Open Expression Programs Interim Director Lisa Loveall throughout the day. He said he hopes the protestors will leave the Quad when Loveall instructs them to do so, but if not, he will have to bring his “people” onto the Quad. Manns said he was unable to say if EPD planned to call in the Atlanta Police Department as backup. 

“We’re going to do things the right way,” Manns said. “I want to work with them. I just need them to work with me. If they be fair about it, I promise I’ll be the same.”

— Madi Olivier

11:20 p.m.

Protestors began to slowly move to the flagpole and gathered around it. A speaker requested that protestors disperse and retreat to outside the Candler School of Theology and regroup from there if the police arrive.

— Lauren Yee

Students gather around the flagpole on the Quad and discuss their plan for if police officers arrive. (Madi Olivier/Editor-in-Chief)

10:40 p.m.

Protestors are currently “making a plan for tonight.”

A speaker urged protestors to support the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) Bill 7.4, which would prevent clubs from spending GSGA-provided funds to support businesses with ties to Israel. The speaker also urged the administration to stop repressing the vote on the bill, citing examples such as University of California, Davis, which has a divestment policy “on the books.” Demonstrators announced a plan to replace the American flag that stands in the middle of the Quad with another flag but conceded that it was not feasible. Another speaker encouraged protestors to gather closer together for “collective decisions” that the organizers are about to make. There will be a first aid station near Cox Hall.

A speaker said that they are committed to sticking together if the police arrive.

“We keep us safe,” the protestors chanted.

Some protestors hope to organize an “encampment” tonight and tomorrow, as well as “keep the energy up for tomorrow.” However, they are debating whether setting up another encampment or dispersing peacefully is the best option.

— Lauren Yee

10:25 p.m.

The number of students at the protest has dwindled as the night progressed. There are still roughly 150 people sitting on the Quad. Students continue to give speeches, receiving loud applause from the crowd. 

Two alumni members addressed current students and said they want to form a network for students who have been doxxed on campus.

“All of y’all deserve careers and futures,” a speaker said. “Emory students, we have your backs.”

In an interview with the Wheel, Paul said he was “really horrified” to see the police response to yesterday’s protest. 

“As an alumni at this school who’s currently a law student at another school in Atlanta, I just felt like the call of action applied to me too,” Paul said. “Tonight, now that the police haven’t made an appearance … there’s been a lot less tension in the air.”

— Sarah Davis

10:14 p.m.

Protestors began chanting phrases such as “Free, Free Palestine ” again before several speakers emphasized the importance of being unified on strategy. She asked the audience if the majority of them would stay if police officers showed up to terminate the demonstration and encouraged them to consider how to approach the situation. 

Another speaker noted that her group’s main demand is for University President Gregory Fenves to step down from his role. The speaker elaborated on how to “disrupt” Emory’s upcoming commencement ceremony, which is scheduled to be held on the Quad at 8:30 a.m. on May 13. 

“The time to take risks isn’t tonight,” the speaker said. “The time to take risks is Commencement.”

— Clement Lee

10:01 p.m.

A speaker told the group of demonstrators that Georgia did not require bail for the protestors who were arrested during the April 25 pro-Palestine protest because the University made sure to work with “the state” because of the protests. In an email to the Emory community this morning, University President Gregory Fenves wrote that Emory had been working “to assist detained community members and expedite their release.”

The speaker also credited the protestors for forcing the University to act after a wave of backlash.

— Clement Lee

“Ceasefire now” is projected on the side of Convocation Hall. Organizers set up the display at 9:50 p.m. (Spencer Friedland/Managing Editor)

8:40 p.m.

A speaker announced to the group of protestors that they plan to “hold the Quad” for as long as possible. They had been sitting on the field for the past 30 minutes while 37 protestors gathered to pray on the side of the Quad. Shortly after sharing their plan to hold the Quad, a speaker announced that a dance party would begin shortly and started playing loud music. A group of 50 protestors danced in a circle while holding hands, forming four rings around other protestors dancing in the middle.

— Lauren Yee

8:05 p.m. 

Unknown individuals vandalized the men’s bathroom in Cox Hall’s food court, spray painting “Escalate 4 Gaza” in red letters across the mirror. A group of roughly 20 protestors left Cox Hall at approximately 8:05 p.m., at which point the building’s doors were locked, and Emory Dining and Open Expression staff began rearranging tables.

— Jack Rutherford

“Escalate 4 Gaza” spans across the men’s bathroom in the Cox Hall food court. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

7:30 p.m.

Approximately 30 protestors began dancing in Cox Hall’s food court to “Hey Ya!” by OutKast (2003) and “F*** Tha Police” by N.W.A (1988), among other songs. They also hung up signs against the Cox Hall windows so passersby could read “Escalate 4 Gaza” from outside while the dance party continued.

This came after several speakers, including a “Stop Cop City” organizer, gave speeches to the crowd of protestors.

“Tomorrow we will take every f****** building on this campus,” the organizer said.

Protestors began playing music through a speaker after speeches concluded.

— Spencer Friedland

7:12 p.m.

Inside Cox Hall’s food court, at least 100 pro-Palestinian protestors led chants, and a couple of students stood on tables to give speeches to the crowd. The second speaker claimed to have been arrested at yesterday morning’s protest on the Quad. 

“We did not have news of the outside world, of all the amazing protests that were going on,” the speaker said. 

After the morning arrests, the protest grew to a crowd of around 400 people yesterday afternoon. Additionally, people within the Atlanta and Emory communities raised money through the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to cover the protestors’ legal fees, including bail bond funds. 

“I have a trespassing charge,” the speaker said. “However, there was just a signature bond. There was no necessary money to pay, but I know you guys had put together funds, and I really want to thank you.”

The speaker said that their experience in the jail was “miserable.” 

“However, the experience we had was a whole lot better than the people suffering in Gaza right now,” the speaker said to loud applause from attendees.

The speaker, who is Jewish, said they believed that the protests were “not an act of antisemitism” but rather “an act of anti-Zionism.”

— Tiffany Namkung

Pro-Palestine protestors gather in Cox Hall’s food court. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

7:22 p.m.

A group of about 200 protestors returned to the Quad after marching to Asbury Circle and looping around the Emory Student Center. The protestors are now stationary on the Quad, mingling in groups, while some students pass out water and snacks. A protestor announced that they will be hosting a prayer.

— Jack Rutherford

7:07 p.m.

As pro-Palestinian protestors crossed Cox Bridge to occupy Cox Hall’s food court and McDonough Field, a group of around 20 Jewish students yelled “Free the hostages” to counter chants of “Free Palestine.”

Two first-year students in this group, who requested to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution, told the Wheel that they have been at today’s protest for the past hour. One of the students said he has a lot of family in Israel and that the protests have been “very disturbing.”

“Obviously, what happened yesterday was scary, but it wasn’t exactly uncalled for,” the student said. “The cops may have taken it a little too far, but we’ve seen what can happen at other schools.”

The other student said that the police response yesterday was “completely justified.”

“I think Fenves is doing his job, given that Emory has a lot of Jewish students, and obviously that comes along with it, Jewish families who are worried about the wellbeing of their Jewish children,” the student said. “It’s sort of his job to make sure everyone’s feeling safe and make sure people are not occupying buildings.”

— Sarah Davis

6:50 p.m.

Protestors left the Quad and began moving in the direction of Asbury Circle. Some protestors began occupying Cox Dining Hall while other protestors continued to march toward McDonough Field. 

6:33 p.m.

On a concrete path down the middle of the Quad, three students write “Cease Fire Now” in colorful chalk. 

Two of the students, Eleanor Byers (25C) and Klara Nitsche (24C) are members of Emory’s radio station, WMRE. The club was supposed to hold their end-of-year celebration today but decided to cancel the event because of the protest and use the funds instead to buy food and drinks for protestors. 

“We work together doing visual arts stuff for WMRE, so it’s something we really love to do, and just decided we wanted to chalk,” Byers said.

        — Sarah Davis

Three students write “Cease Fire Now” in colorful chalk. (Sarah Davis/Senior Staff Writer)

6:04 p.m.

Student speeches continue on Emory Quad. One speaker said the protest will continue into tomorrow. 

The crowd is still around 300 protestors. Most attendees are sitting in the grass, participating in call-and-response chants such as “We demand a ceasefire” and “Fenves, Fenves, we won’t rest. We demand you divest.”

— Sarah Davis

Emory University community members gather on the Quadrangle to listen to a speech during a pro-Palestine demonstration on April 26. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

5:30 p.m.

In a speech on the Quad, an Emory University healthcare worker condemned the use of force to suppress the protest on April 25. Other Emory community members spoke to the crowd of about 300 attendees and began chants, such as “APD, KKK, IDF, they’re all the same,” and “No peace on stolen land.” Protestors also held signs that read, “Emory faculty says hands off our students.”

— Madeline Shapiro

5:15 p.m. 

Emory students have begun giving speeches on the Emory Quadrangle, following chants of “Free, Free, Palestine” and “Whose Quad? Our Quad.” Over 300 people are currently gathered to listen. Groups of faculty came directly from the Emory College Senate meeting, where a majority approved a motion to vote “No Confidence” on Emory’s president next week. Many of the faculty wore signs with the words “Faculty Observer” on the back of their shirts.

Andrew Kazama, an associate teaching professor and the director of undergraduate research in the department of psychology, said the climate inside the faculty senate meeting was one of “extreme solidarity.”

“People offered some differing opinions, but I would say the faculty in the meeting were pretty much of one mind,” Kazama said. “The majority of the conversation was about protecting the students and supporting our students, which is why I’m here, and making sure that the campus remains a place that these ideas can be expressed.”

Several student groups came together to provide food, water and medical supplies to attendees. Faiz Alan (24M) worked with other students in the Emory School of Medicine to set up a first aid booth on the side of the Quad. Alan was present at yesterday’s protest, where police officers deployed irritant gas on participants and used a taser on one individual. Law enforcement arrested 28 protestors, 20 of whom were members of the University community.

“[We] saw that there were a lot of unanticipated injuries and care that people needed,” Alan said. “For instance, those who had irritants in their eyes had to go to buildings that were far away, so we knew that’s something we could help with.”

— Sarah Davis

Correction (4/27/2024 at 11:20 a.m.): A previous version of this article stated that Lisa Loveall is the Student Involvement, Leadership and Transitions Director. In fact, Loveall is the Open Expression Programs Interim Director.

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The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.

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