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PHOTO ESSAY | UW ‘People’s University of Gaza’ Camp Ends After Month of Protest

Students walk along a trail on the University of Washington campus during a protest encampment.  Tents are set up on the grass, with several groups of people gathered around.  The grass shows discolored spots where tents were previously pitched.  In the background you can see historic buildings and leafy trees.

Photos by Susan Fried and Maeve Smith


A protest camp over the war between Israel and Hamas at the University of Washington ended peacefully on Monday, May 20, when the “People’s University for Gaza,” part of a national movement on college campuses, broke up the camp.

Left behind were patches of discolored grass and spray-painted walls denouncing Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza in reaction to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and calls for a free Palestinian state.

The camp was dissolved at 3 p.m. on Monday, and this came only after the University agreed to a series of concessions, including a process to review divestment requests for companies doing business with the State of Israel; enhance ongoing efforts to address Islamophobia; seek displaced students from Gaza for the University of Washington “including waiving tuition for at least 20 students from Gaza to complete their studies”; deepen your expertise in Palestine scholarship; and a promise not to issue any citations for camping on campus.


A Palestinian flag flies in the foreground of a student protest camp at the University of Washington.  Faded patches of grass mark former tent sites.  On the grass there are various protest materials and camping equipment.
A flag supporting a “Free Palestine” is planted at the former camp as protesters and mutual aid workers pack up. (Photo: Susan Fried)
University of Washington students dismantle tents and tarps at a protest camp.  People pass in the background, near steps and flowering bushes.  The grass has discolored patches from tents, with camping equipment and other items scattered everywhere.
Protesters break camp on Monday, May 20, 2024, in the UW Quad as students go to class. (Photo: Susan Fried)
A person with a tattoo and floral pants packs items at the University of Washington protest camp.  Various containers, bags and camping supplies are scattered on the discolored grass.  Another person carries a large bag of garbage.  In the background there is a building with red graffiti and trees.
Mutual aid workers help camp participants pack tents, food and other supplies on Monday, May 20. (Photo: Maeve Smith)
A pile of discarded protest materials, including trash containers, pool noodles and wooden planks, sit in front of a University of Washington building.  The wall of the building features faded graffiti messages, including
Debris from the University of Washington camp outside the Art Building waiting to be loaded onto a truck. Protesters used makeshift trash cans as shields when counterprotesters appeared on campus. Graffiti sprayed during the camp is located behind the pile that reads “Solidarity Forever.” (Photo: Maeve Smith)
Prayer rugs are laid out on a large tarp on the grass at the University of Washington protest camp.  The setting includes multi-colored rugs with intricate designs.  In the background you can see other tarps, tents and camping equipment.
Prayer rugs on an empty tarp at the University of Washington campground on Monday, May 20. (Photo: Maeve Smith)
A person in a red plaid shirt and shorts is sitting on a concrete bench at the University of Washington, talking on the phone.  The bench is spray painted
Graffiti left after the month-long protest at the camp. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Susan Frito He is a veteran photographer with 40 years of experience. His early career included weddings, portraits and commercial work; besides,He has been The Skanner News’ Seattle photographer for 25 years. Images of him have appeared at the University of Washington.s The Daily, The Seattle Globalist, Crosscut and many more. she has been a Emerald collaborator since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.

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FeaturedIsrael-Hamas WarMaeve SmithNewsProtestsSusan FriedUniversity of WashingtonYouth