Police arrested a student who was putting up pro-Israel signs on the Rutgers University-Newark campus even as university officials and law enforcement authorities have allowed pro-Palestine protesters to set up camp for nearly two weeks.

The university response to the encampment in the state's largest city differs from the treatment protesters received on the larger Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, where officials threatened arrests if they did not clear out the tents from the Voorhees Mall campus green by Thursday afternoon.

The protesters removed their tents after Rutgers University agreed to consider their divestment demands.

The Newark Solidarity Coalition set up its own encampment on University Heights on May 1 with similar demands for the university to cut financial and academic ties to Israel.

Pro-Israel student arrested in Newark

Yiorgos Maravelias, 31, a law student from New York City, was charged Thursday with disorderly conduct after putting up pro-Israel posters on trees near the encampment.

The signs read "Stand with Israel, Stand with America” and “Hamas are dirty savages," according to a NJ.com report.

Maravelias's attorney, Cory Rothbort, told NJ.com that Rutgers has allowed the encampment to continue unimpeded but was fast to discipline his client before he could defend himself.

"Our highest priority is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff," Rutgers-Newark Vice Chancellor Peter T. Englot said in a written statement. "The protest on our campus remains peaceful. As an anchor institution in Newark and committed collaborator with many community partners, Rutgers-Newark is earnestly engaging in dialogue with the protestors over the concerns they’ve expressed."

The  NSC added demands that would benefit the city of Newark, including for the city to provide for public housing, debt forgiveness, pro bono legal services and free dental and medical care.

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Community demands by Newark Solidarity Coalition for Rutgers-Newark

⚫ Influence the City of Newark to pass a cease fire resolution

⚫ Reinvest in Newark by allocating 3 to 5 of its properties to establish a Community Land Trust dedicated to providing free public housing

⚫ Offer free tuition & forgive all outstanding student loan debt for all Newark residents.

⚫ Commit to monetary support for grassroots organizations as part of its reinvestment efforts in Newark. The NSC will approve allocations.

⚫ Rutgers Law School must provide pro bono legal services to all Newark residents earning less than $50,000

⚫ Rutgers must immediately cease all military recruitment on its campuses and influence other Newark colleges to do the same

⚫ Rutgers Medical and Dental Schools must offer free health care services to all Newark residents and forgive debt

Princeton encampment fights university over tarps

As the encampment at Princeton University's Cannon Green reaches its 11th day, protesters said Princeton Public Safety officers handed out "no trespassing" notices informing them that their access to campus was restricted because they violated university policy erecting tarps. Earlier in the day officers removed the tarps.

Encampment organizers on their Instagram said the tents and tarp were to protect hunger strikers who are in their sixth day on Wednesday.

"Princeton continues to punish us for protecting our peers, out of sight of the public and media. Shameful and cowardly behavior from Eisgruber’s administration," organizers posted on their X account.

University spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill told New Jersey 101.5 that the protesters have been told that they can make use of the tent at nearby McCosh Courtyard for shelter.

Free Expression Facilitators are available to the protesters to help them understand University policies about structures.

The facilitators are Princeton staff members selected to uphold the University’s commitment to freedom of expression and ensure University guidelines governing free expression are followed. Free Expression Facilitators and Public Safety officers uphold the rights of participants to express themselves in non-disruptive ways, accommodate counter-protests and safeguard the essential functioning of University operations.

A Rutgers-Camden spokesman said there is no encampment at its campus.

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Protest at Princeton University, banner urging the school divest from Israel
Protest at Princeton University, banner urging the school divest from Israel (@princetondivestnow via Instagram)

Murphy: Rutgers would not hear Jewish demands

Gov. Phil Murphy was critical of the agreement Rutgers' president made with protesters, according to reporting by ROI-NJ. The governor said that Rutgers was not willing to hear demands from Jewish students who had safety concerns in December.

“If you’re going to sit down with one group of students, and you’re going to go through a (list of) ‘Will you consider this?’ — what about the folks, in this case in particular, the Jewish students, who apparently had given a set of demands back in December?” he was quoted as saying. “You owe everybody their seat at the table.

The mayor of Newark, who is running for governor as a Democrat, chastised Murphy for his comments, saying Rutgers "should be praised, not admonished."

"Rutgers, unlike many universities around the country, treated their students with respect, dignity and found a peaceful way to de-escalate tensions on campus," Mayor Ras Baraka said on X. "They avoided police, they avoided violence and they upheld their duty as an institute of higher learning to protect free speech and keep their students safe."

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