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Dozens arrested at Art Institute of Chicago pro-Palestinian protest – NBC Chicago

Dozens of people were arrested Saturday afternoon during a pro-Palestinian protest organized by students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, authorities said.

A total of 68 people were arrested Sunday morning for criminal trespass to property after failing to disperse from the Art Institute’s downtown campus — despite receiving several verbal warnings, according to updated figures from the Chicago Police Department.

Tent camps of protesters calling on universities to stop doing business with Israel or companies they say support the war in Gaza have spread across the country in a student movement unlike any other this century. Demonstrations have also taken place at Northwestern University, DePaul University and the University of Chicago.

Around 11 a.m. Saturday, a group of students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago set up a camp in the museum’s North Garden, police and museum officials said.

“…As the action progressed, protesters surrounded and pushed a security officer and stole their keys to the museum, blocked emergency exits and barricaded gates,” Chicago police said in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

The demonstrations also extended to Michigan Avenue, where a heavy police presence was visible.

In a statement, the Art Institute said student protesters were promised amnesty from academic sanctions and trespassing charges if they agreed to move. The school also agreed to meet with a group of students to discuss their demands. After five hours, no agreement could be reached, officials said.

Chicago police said at 3:30 p.m. that the Art Institute had requested officers take action to remove those illegally occupying the property. The protesters were given four warnings to disperse, the last of which was issued at 4:30 p.m

Several protesters were given another chance to leave without arrest and then left the building. Dozens who refused to leave were arrested for criminal damage to property, police said.