2 charged in pro-Palestine demonstration that interrupted University of Puget Sound event

A student organization was banned from operating on the University of Puget Sound (UPS) campus after holding a pro-Palestine protest during a lecture hosted by a U.S. congressman, according to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

Krishna Agrawal and Lauren Garelick were charged in the interruption of U.S. representative Derek Kilmer's (D-WA 6th District) "Building Bridges to a Better Future" lecture, SDS claims. 

The organization said over 100 students protested during Rep. Kilmer’s speech due to his strong support for Israel and condemnation of pro-Palestine protests.

This incident happened on February 21, 2024, and the two student organizers, Agrawal and Garelick, were recently charged with "inciting violence" after an investigation by Seattle law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, SDS stated.

According to the University of Puget Sound's independent student newspaper The Trail, protesters marched onto the stage in Schneebeck Hall where Rep. Kilmer was set to speak, pushing past administrators, security, and police. The event was canceled shortly thereafter.

Later that day, the UPS campus was placed on lockdown due to protesters attempting to enter other buildings, according to an email from campus security.

Some students were injured during the protest, with The Trail saying a "deafening noise" came through the loudspeaker towards the end of the demonstration, causing at least one student to collapse.


Pro-Israel counter-protest at University of Washington campus remains peaceful

A counter-protest in support of Israel remained peaceful at the University of Washington campus Sunday afternoon as pro-Palestine protestors chanted from the Quad.

In a release, SDS called the charges against Agrawal and Garelick "bogus," and the investigation by Davis Wright Tremaine "biased" and "racist."

"The charges UPS is bringing against Agrawal and Garelick are bogus. The ‘investigation’ was conducted by Davis Wright Tremaine, a firm the administration has on retainer and that serves the interests of the school and not the students. The report is not confirmable by any concrete evidence, it relies entirely on biased and embellished interviews. On the other hand, the violence acted on the students by university faculty and administration is well documented and corroborated by real evidence. Yet, the school uses racist and anti-Black language to characterize protesters as ‘dangerous,’ despite all evidence pointing to the contrary," part of SDS' release read.

As punishment for the protest, SDS claims the college is banning the entire Students for a Democratic Society organization from operating on campus until 2026. 

In response to this, SDS held a press conference outside Jones Hall on Monday to address the recent sanctions.


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