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LIVE UPDATES: Day 8 of Gaza encampment, campus protests

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For more recent coverage of the encampment, check out LIVE UPDATES: Scenes from day 9 of Gaza encampment, campus protests

9:00 p.m. in Dunn Meadow 

As the last rays of sunlight slip down, the protesters gathered in Dunn Meadow put their canopies all together and hang up tarps to serve as walls around them.

They are taking the various arts supplies into the lined-up canopies as well. While doing so, a different group of protesters begin to watch a movie projected up on the screen.

Still tents are sprinkled across the meadow along with small groups of protesters conversing lightly with each other. 

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Protesters in a pro-Palestinian encampment hang up tarps around their tents May 2, 2024, in Dunn Meadow in Bloomington. They used the tarps to serve as walls around the tents.

2:00 p.m. Dunn Meadow 

After returning from Bryan House to deliver a resignation letter to IU president Pamela Whitten, protesters rejoined in Dunn Meadow. Not long after a large white banner with red lettering that read “Stand With Rafah” was rolled off the wall of the Solarium of the Indiana Memorial Union. 

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A banner reading "Stand With Rafah" is seen hanging May 2, 2024, off of the Solarium at the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington. It was hung up for roughly five minutes.

It hung there while the crowd cheered below. Many took out phones and cameras to take pictures. 

The banner has since been removed after it hung for roughly 5 minutes. After some time passed a protester then announced into the megaphone that there is a pro-Israeli counter protest happening at Showalter Fountain. 

Earlier Bryce Greene, one of the encampment's leaders, said to ignore any counter protesters who might walk by and to not engage with them.

12:50 p.m. at Bryan Hall, Bryan House and the Indiana Memorial Union 

A group of protesters slide a resignation letter they wrote from the perspective of IU President Pamela Whitten through the door of Bryan Hall, where the administrative offices are. 

They demanded she sign it and attempted to give Whitten the letter personally, but they were denied entry.  

“This is our university,” Constance Furey, an IU professor in the Department of Religious Studies, said. “Today, I knocked on the door and asked for admittance to the administration of our public university, and I was denied entrance.” 

One of the protesters, before sliding the letter under the door, read the letter aloud from the perspective of Whitten.

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Whitten's resignation letter, written by pro-Palestinian student and faculty protesters, is seen here May 2, 2024. The letter is written from Whitten's perspective, and protesters demanded she sign it.

Protesters at both the east and west doors of the building chanted for a few minutes before marching in the direction of Bryan House — the official house of the IU president — although Whitten does not live there. Some marched and chanted through the Indiana Memorial Union on their way.  

At Bryan House, IU professor Marco Arnaudo read aloud the resignation letter again, asking her to sign it. Three police officers in two cop cars arrived at the house and just watched the protesters.  

Again, the protesters chanted for a few minutes, holding up signs saying, “NO HATE NO GENOCIDE” and “DIVEST FROM GENOCIDE,” before marching back through campus toward the IU Divestment Coalition encampment in Dunn Meadow. On their way, the protesters walked through the IMU, where students and visitors watched and recorded them.  

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A pro-Palestinian protester leads a chant outside Bryan House, the official house of the IU president on May 2, 2024. The protesters gathered to read a resignation letter they wrote on behalf IU President Pamela Whitten.

Around 10:07 a.m. at Showalter Fountain

Two IU Police Department cars sat parked next to Showalter Fountain as students took senior photos.

A third IUPD car pulled up and parked behind them, and two officers exited.

A “Rally Against Hamas Propaganda” is planned for 2 p.m. at Showalter Fountain. The rally is organized by Gunther Jikeli, associate director of Indiana University Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism. The protest is open to “anyone who condemns the glorification of Hamas, according to a press release for the event.

Around 10 a.m. in Dunn Meadow

Around 20 protesters in the encampment gathered in the middle of Dunn Meadow.

An organizer spoke to the group about counter protesters possibly interacting with the encampment later in the day and that night.

She told them to not engage with counter protesters. A “Rally Against Hamas Propaganda” is planned for 2 p.m. at Showalter Fountain, less than half of a mile down East Seventh Street from the encampment. 

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A tent and drum set is seen May 2, 2024, at a pro-Palestinian encampment in Dunn Meadow. The protest and encampment is now in its eighth day.

6:05 a.m. online

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana released a column in the IndyStar, including multiple misleading or unverified claims, asking state officials to stand with “taxpayers” and IU President Pamela Whitten as she faces backlash from IU faculty.

“So, where are the Republicans?” Banks said in the column. “Indiana is a Republican state, and our Republican governor and Republican legislators should be praising Whitten for her courage, and they should make it clear that if the unlawful protesters at Dunn Meadow refuse to disburse, the state will mobilize as many ISP officers and, if necessary, national guardsmen, as public order require.”

In the letter, Banks refers to protesters in the encampment as “pro-Hamas.” He also repeats the claim made by Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter on April 29 that law enforcement heard chants of “We are Hamas” and “Death to all Jewish people” that day. No Indiana Daily Student reporters on the scene for the past eight days have heard such chants.

He also claims the faculty motion for no confidence in Whitten passed with 90% of faculty, when 93.1% voted no confidence April 16.

Banks wrote that IU professors "work in an echo chamber” and specifically criticized IU backlash to Senate Bill 202, which he said promotes academic diversity. Faculty and Whitten have criticized the bill for language they said could limit academic freedom.

Banks claimed Purdue University “has had no unlawful protests or antisemitic chants” and did not oppose S.B. 202.

In reality, although they were not arrested, protesters at a pro-Palestinian encampment at Purdue were charged with violating the university’s code of conduct and threatened with suspension or expulsion April 30.

Purdue University faculty and students have also come out in opposition to S.B. 202.

Banks condemned protesters and some professors’ demand for IU to divest from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division — a U.S. naval installation southwest of Bloomington.

IU announced a $111 million investment including partnership with Crane in October 2023. As part of the commitment, IU is investing $23.5 million to hire 25 faculty members in microelectronics, focusing on faculty with U.S. Department of Defense experience.

It is unknown whether Crane is directly involved in the Israel-Hamas war. As of 2021, Crane is part of a research and development agreement with the Israeli defense company Smart Shooter — which focuses on increasing the accuracy of defenses against small, unmanned aircraft.

“Crane benefits students and our national security, and many IU professors just want to tear it down,” Banks wrote.

Banks wrote Indiana’s next governor should make Board of Trustees appointments based on “commitment to free speech, objectivity, and free inquiry” rather than campaign contribution history. He praised Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointments.

“Right now, out-of-touch ideologues are trying to take control of one of our states’ most valuable public assets,” Banks wrote. “It’s time to remind them that IU belongs to Indiana.”

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