The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

First pro-Palestine encampment on UI campus shut down by police

The encampment went up early Monday morning.
Emma Calabro
Police officers and sheriffs talking near disbanded pro-Palestine encampment at Hubbard Park in Iowa City on Monday, May 6, 2024.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Less than half an hour after it was set up Monday morning, the first pro-Palestine encampment on the University of Iowa campus was met by local law enforcement and Iowa State Patrol officers.

Sign left at the disbanded pro-Palestine encampment is seen at Hubbard Park in Iowa City on Monday, May 6, 2024. (Emma Calabro/The Daily Iowan)

Pro-Palestine encampments continue on dozens of college campuses across the nation. Most recently, University of Southern California campus officials closed its campus on Sunday to clear the encampment.

The encampment that went up in Hubbard Park was first posted on the Instagram account, @uiowa.action.for.palestine, a network of students, residents, UI alumni, and staff organizing for the liberation of Palestine. The account is not affiliated with the UI.

Newman Abuissa, chair of the Arab American Caucus in the Iowa Democratic Party and member of Iowans for Palestine, wasn’t planning on camping but wanted to support the movement and said he saw police pulling out the protesters’ “Free Palestine” signs.

“You can see the pile the police confiscated from whoever was here before,” Abuissa said.


Nearly 30 minutes after the encampment went up, protesters put their equipment into at least two cars and left the site. Police and officials monitored the site after protesters left, snapping photos and opening bins of the encampment’s materials. No arrests were made.

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According to a news release University of Iowa Police were made aware of the encampment at 7:18 a.m. on Monday and responded to the scene with the help of the Iowa State Patrol and Johnson County Sherriff Officers.

“Those who set up the encampment were told if they did not remove the materials within 30 minutes, UIPD would remove them, and they could be placed under arrest,” the release stated. “The group then continued building a fence to reinforce the camp with chicken wire, wood pallets, plywood with handles, and a sheet of corrugated metal. When this occurred, UIPD made the decision to immediately enforce university policy and began to remove the materials.”

Now all that remained shortly after the encampment was dispersed was a pile of rubble containing broken tents, mesh fencing material, tin roofing material, stakes, food, water, and signs saying “Free Palestine.” The rubble has since been cleared by University facilities staff.

Ashley Weil contributed to this report. 

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About the Contributors
Sabine Martin
Sabine Martin, Executive Editor
Sabine Martin is the Executive Editor of The Daily Iowan. She is a senior at the University of Iowa studying journalism and mass communications and international studies. Sabine is also earning a minor in French. As a current member PolitiFact Iowa team, Sabine was previously Managing News Editor, News Editor, Summer News Editor, and a News Reporter covering higher education at the DI. Sabine interned for U.S. News and World Report in Washington, D.C. in 2023 as an education reporter and for the Cedar Rapids Gazette in 2022.
Liam Halawith
Liam Halawith, Politics Editor
Liam Halawith is a third-year student at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Public Policy. Before his role as Politics Editor Liam was a politics reporter for the DI. Outside of the DI Liam has interned at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Southeast Iowa Union. This is his second year working for the DI.