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13 arrested after pro-Palestinian protesters occupy Stanford University president's office

By Mike Heuer

June 5 (UPI) -- Pro-Palestinian protesters entered Stanford University President Richard Saller's office at about 6 a.m. local time and remained until police arrived and arrested 13 Wednesday morning.

The protesters said they would stay there until Stanford officials divested the university of any financial investments in companies providing "material and logistical support to Israel's current military campaign" against Hamas in Gaza.

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They also demanded amnesty for breaking into the university president's office.

The protesters are Stanford University students and alumni whose actions were coordinated by the National Students for Justice in Palestine and an organization calling itself Liberate Stanford.

The two groups posted a joint statement on Instagram announcing the occupation of Saller's office and calling for "all out to main quad."

"We refuse to leave until Stanford administration and the Stanford board of trustees meet our demands and take action to address their role in enabling and profiting from the ongoing genocide in Gaza," Liberate Stanford posted on Instagram.

Liberate Stanford claims the university has "millions" of dollars invested in companies assisting Israel in its war against Hamas.

Ten protesters occupied Saller's office and about 100 were located outside the building when Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies ended the occupation shortly after 8 a.m. PDT, local media reported.

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The deputies arrested 13 protesters and cleared the office within about two hours of its occupation.

Stanford officials told media the protesters caused "extensive damage to the interior and exterior of the building," which the university closed for the rest of the day.

Protesters also shoved and injured a public safety officer while interfering with a transport vehicle, university officials said.

Despite the protesters demanding amnesty for their actions, university officials promised consequences.

"We are appalled that our students chose to take this action and we will work with law enforcement to ensure that they face the full consequences of the law," Stanford spokesperson Dee Mostofi said in a prepared statement.

"This was not a peaceful protest and actions such as what occurred this morning has no place at Stanford," Mostofi said.

Mostofi said students who were arrested will be suspended and any who are seniors won't be allowed to graduate.

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